Established in 1941, the Museo de America (Museum of America) was created in order to combine and unite artistic, archaeological, and ethnographic collections pertaining to the Americas within the possession of the Spanish government. The 25,000 objects, mainly from Central and South America, comprising the collection serve to provide a cohesive viewpoint of the Americas from the Paleolithic to present day, with subcategories of Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Ethnology.
The permanent collection seeks to highlight the complexity of the history and contemporary society of the Americas through a distinctly anthropological approach. Five areas of study—Knowing about America, The Reality of America, Society, Religion, and Communication—help to compartmentalize the collection in order to enhance the visitor’s understanding and study of the artifacts. The entire collection offers a glimpse of the numerous societies that were and are still located within the Americas.
Although the building from the outside may seem small, don’t let that fool you. Upon entering and beginning your visit you will soon realize the substantial inventory of the museum. The two floors that house the collection and wrap around a lovely central garden, host a variety of intriguing objects, including textiles and clothing, a large collection of gold figurines from the Quimbaya civilization (a people well regarded for their astounding and immaculate gold work), a mummy dating to the first century B.C., and the historically significant Casta Paintings of Imperial Spain (depicting the first racial laws ever written into edict). Be sure to take a moment to explore the Communication area as it highlights the numerous languages of the Americas and offers the opportunity to take in the incredible writing styles of the ancient civilizations.
Aside from the permanent collection the museum hosts a variety of educational activities—tours, workshops, conferences, seminars—as well as cultural—dance, theater, and music. A number of the activities are family friendly and specifically targeted toward children. In order to learn more the museum’s website has an entire section dedicated to information concerning its upcoming activities, as well as provides a monthly program you can consult.
Sundays are free entry.