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Benito Quinquela Martin Museum


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Benito Quinquela Martin was an Argentine painter from a humble background that became one of the most celebrated artists in Argentina. The Museum of Benito Quinquela Martin in La Boca celebrates his life, work and Argentine art culture. Buenos Aires Travel guide highly recommends you pay the museum a visit if you’re in the La Boca neighborhood.

The museum has a rich history that began the 1st April 1933 when the artist himself Quinquela donated land to the Argentine Minister of Education so that a three storey building could be built. The ground and first floors were dedicated to a primary school; the second floor was to be used as the Museum of Argentine Artists and the third floor for Quinquela’s own home and studio. In 1936, the Pedro de Mendoza School was inaugurated, incorporating new techniques and teaching practices that linked culture with education.

Benito Quinquela Martin was a philanthropist who wanted to give back something to his La Boca neighborhood. Today, La Boca has several theatres, school and museums that were all donated by Quiquela. The bright colours and preservation of the famous La Boca Caminito was realized thanks to Quinquela’s beliefs and vision of the future importance of tourism in the La Boca area. He is quoted as saying ‘everything I have done and created is not a donation but instead a giving back of what was given to me by my neighborhood. As well as donating the land, the artist also painted 18 murals in the classrooms and hallways. Each classroom was given its own mural that was strategically positioned above the class blackboard so that the pupils could improve their artistic horizons and learn subconsciously.

Benito Quinquela Martin was famous for depicting everyday scenes of work, play and struggle, particularly in the impoverished areas of Buenos Aires. It was this realist style and inclusion of forgotten sectors of Buenos Aires society that made Quinquela so famous and well-loved in Argentina. He used this same style in the murals he did in the Pedro de Mendoza primary school. The Museum of Argentine Artists is today officially known as the Museum of Fine of La Boca ‘Benito Quinquela Martin.’ Here visitors can see a wealth of valuable Argentine pieces that give a cross-section of the range of styles in Argentine art. The works of artists such as, Daneri, Lazzari and Riccio, are on display in the museum. Most of the artists are from the La Boca neighborhood just like Quinquela.

La Boca and Caminito neighborhood are top tourist destinations in Argentina and their images adorn postcards and memorabilia across the city. The Museum of Benito Quinquela Martin is the place to go to get a deeper understanding of the culture and art behind La Boca and its people.

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