Cusco is a mystical ancient Incan city with a flourishing art culture and many museums and galleries. The art in Cusco is the meeting of two worlds that merge between the ancient andean world, the European conception and incredible artistic imagination.
Cusco’s galleries and museums are notable for the historical detail they present of the Indians, conquistadors and important aspects of Peru’s rich culture. and at galleries and art museums, such as the Museo de Arte Popular (Muesum of popular art), the Museo de Arte Religioso (Museum of religious art) and the Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo (museum of contemporary art) for some of the most exceptional modern Peruvian artwork.
The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art displays stylish, colorful, Andean, contemporary style paintings and is a great museum for anyone who enjoys modern artwork. The Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo is located within the Municipal Palace at the Plaza Regocijo, in the Plaza de Armas.
The Casa Cabrera is a beautiful art gallery and museum with historical photographs(many from the famous Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi). This gallery also displays many other local artists and in its museum you’ll find many valuable artifacts of old coins.
The religious museum of Cusco is an old colonial residence built on the site of the palace of Inca roca(afterwards turned into the palace of the archbishop). This museum is dedicated to all religious works of art and has the most beautiful decorations on its walls, its cedar ceilings and is surrounded by gorgeous stained glass windows.
The museum of popular art contains many sculptures, paintings, ceramics and photographs. Some of the famous artists who’s work is displayed there include Santiago Rojas, Hilario, Mendivil and Edilberto Mérida. The museum is located in Avenida del Sol 103 just a few blocks from the Plaza De Armas.
One very special art gallery is situated within the Santa Catalina Monastery/church close to the Plaza De Armas and contains a very impressive collection and some of the greatest artworks from the highly acclaimed Cusco school of art. The collection includes, ancient religious relics and many colonial paintings, beautiful baroque detail and combines the indigenous and the Spanish styles. The interior of the monastery is very beautiful, with painted arches, mural paintings and an interesting chapel with baroque frescoes of Inca vegetation.
Guided tours are available and at the end of your tour where you’re able to purchase mazapanes and creams prepared by the Santa Catalina nuns.
The Precolumbian art museum in Plaza Nazarenas is located within a gorgeous colonial mansion and unique Incan courtyard (that was used as an Incan ceremonial court around 1450 AD). This museum exhibits many interesting precolumbian and Peruvian artifacts that belonged to ancient cultures from around the region including jewelery, incan treasures and colorful pottery. Its collection contains more than 450 master pieces and dates from 1250 to 1532 AD.
The Hilario Mendivil museum located in San Blas showcases unique rice plaster sculptures and many original creations from the famous religious artist Hilario Mendivil (1929 – 1977).
All the galleries and museums in Cusco offer rich insight into the deep history and talent that was and still is fostered here over a period of many years.