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Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires)

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires)

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The National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA) is an Argentine
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 art museum in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent...

, located in the Recoleta
Recoleta
Recoleta is a downtown residential neighborhood in the city of Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina; it is an area of great historical and architectural interest, due, particularly to the Recoleta Cemetery located there...

 section of the city. The MNBA inaugurated a branch in Neuquén
Neuquén
Neuquén is the name of the following things:* Neuquén, Argentina* Neuquén Province* Neuquén River* Neuquén Group...

 in 2004.

History


Argentine painter and art critic Eduardo Schiaffino
Eduardo Schiaffino
Eduardo Schiaffino was an Argentine painter, critic, intellectual and historian. A member of a group known as the Generation of '80, he founded the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires and sparked the development of painting in his country.-Biography:Schiaffino was born in Buenos Aires in...

 was the first director of the MNBA, which opened on 25 December 1895 in a building on Florida Street
Florida Street
Florida Street is an elegant shopping street in Downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina. A pedestrian street since 1971, some stretches have been pedestrianized since 1913....

 which today houses the Galerías Pacífico
Galerías Pacífico
Galerías Pacífico is a shopping centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina, located at the intersection of Florida Street and Córdoba Avenue.-Overview:...

 shopping mall. In 1909 the museum moved to a building in Plaza San Martín
Plaza San Martín (Buenos Aires)
Plaza San Martín is a park located in the Retiro neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Situated at the northern end of pedestrianized Florida Street, the park is bounded by Libertador Ave. , Maipú St. , Santa Fe Avenue , and Leandro Alem Av....

, originally erected in Paris as the Argentine Pavilion for the 1889 Paris exhibition, and later dismantled and brought to Buenos Aires. In its new home the museum became part of the International Centenary Exhibition
Exposición Internacional del Centenario (1910)
The Exposición International del Centenario was an exhibition held between May and November 1910 in Buenos Aires, to mark the centennial of the May Revolution in Argentina...

 held in Buenos Aires in 1910. Following the demolition of the Pavilion in 1932 as part of the remodelling of Plaza San Martín, the museum was transferred to its present location in 1933, a building originally constructed in 1870 as a drainage pumping station and adapted to its current use by architect Alejandro Bustillo
Alejandro Bustillo
Alejandro Bustillo was an Argentine painter and architect who left his mark in various tourist destinations in Argentina, especially in the Andean region of the Patagonia....

.

The museum was modernized both physically and in its collections during the 1955–64 tenure of director Jorge Romero Brest
Jorge Romero Brest
Jorge Aníbal Romero Brest was an influential art critic in Argentina who helped popularize avant-garde art in his country.-Life and work:...

. A temporary exhibits pavilion was opened in 1961, and the museum acquired a large volume of modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 though its collaboration with the Torcuato di Tella Institute
Torcuato di Tella Institute
The Torcuato di Tella Institute is a non-profit foundation organized for the promotion of Argentine culture.-Overview:The di Tella Foundation and its institute were created on July 22, 1958, the tenth anniversary of the death of industrialist and arts patron Torcuato di Tella...

, a leading promoter of local, avant-garde artists, and elsewhere; a Contemporary Argentine Art pavilion was later opened in 1980. This 1536 sqm hall is the largest of 34 currently in use at the museum, which totals 4610 sqm of exhibit space. Its permanent collection totals 688 major works and over 12,000 sketches, fragments, potteries and other minor works. The institution also maintains a specialized library, totalling 150,000 volumes, as well as a public auditorium. The MNBA commissioned architect Mario Roberto Álvarez
Mario Roberto Álvarez
Mario Roberto Álvarez was a prominent Argentine architect.-Early life:Álvarez was born in Buenos Aires in 1913. He enrolled at the University of Buenos Aires School of Arquitecture in 1932, and graduated with Gold Medal honors in 1936...

 to design a branch in the patagonia
Patagonia
Patagonia is a region located in Argentina and Chile, integrating the southernmost section of the Andes mountains to the southwest towards the Pacific ocean and from the east of the cordillera to the valleys it follows south through Colorado River towards Carmen de Patagones in the Atlantic Ocean...

n region city of Neuquén
Neuquén
Neuquén is the name of the following things:* Neuquén, Argentina* Neuquén Province* Neuquén River* Neuquén Group...

. Inaugurated in 2004, this museum holds 4 exhibit halls totaling 2500 sqm and a permanent collection of 215 works, as well as temporary exhibits and a public auditorium.

The ground floor of the museum holds 24 exhibit halls housing a fine international collection of paintings from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century, together with the museum's art history library. The first floor's 8 exhibit halls contain a collection of paintings by some of the most important 20th century Argentine painters, including Antonio Berni
Antonio Berni
Delesio Antonio Berni was a figurative artist, born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe, Argentina. He worked as a painter, an illustrator and an engraver. His father, Napoleón Berni, was an immigrant tailor from Italy...

, Ernesto de la Cárcova
Ernesto de la Cárcova
Ernesto de la Cárcova was an Argentine painter of the Realist school.-Life and work:Ernesto de la Cárcova was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1866. Taking an early interest in the canvas, he studied at the local Society for the Stimulus of Fine Arts under painter Francisco Romero...

, Benito Quinquela Martín
Benito Quinquela Martín
Benito Quinquela Martín , 1890 – January 28, 1977) was an Argentine painter born in La Boca, Buenos Aires. Quinquela Martín is considered the port painter-par-excellence and one of the most popular Argentine painters...

, Eduardo Sívori
Eduardo Sívori
Eduardo Sívori was an Argentine artist widely regarded as his country's first realist painter.-Life and work:...

, Alfredo Guttero, Raquel Forner
Raquel Forner
Raquel Forner was an Argentine painter known for her expressionist works.-Life:Forner was born in Buenos Aires in 1902. Her father was Spanish by nationality and her mother was an Argentine of Spanish descent...

, Xul Solar
Xul Solar
Xul Solar was the adopted name of Oscar Agustín Alejandro Schulz Solari , Argentine painter, sculptor, writer, and inventor of imaginary languages.-Biography:...

 and Lino Enea Spilimbergo
Lino Enea Spilimbergo
Lino Enea Spilimbergo was an Argentine artist and engraver, and he is considered to be one of the country's most important painters....

. The second floor's two halls, completed in 1984, hold an exhibition of photographs and two sculpture terraces, as well as most of the institution's administrative and technical departments.

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