Culture & Entertainment

Touring Mexico City: The Soumaya Museum

By: Brett Walther
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Touring Mexico City: The Soumaya Museum

By: Brett Walther
Soumaya Museum Mexico City

 The honeycomb on the hill: Mexico City's spectacularly ultra-modern Soumaya Museum is encased in 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles. Photography by Brett Walther.

    Frankly, Mexico City is one of the last places on Earth I expected to see a Van Gogh. But when the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, decides Mexico City needs a European art gallery, Mexico City gets a European art gallery. The Soumaya Museum--named after Slim's late wife--boasts a collection of nearly 70,000 works of art; the bulk of which consists of 15th to 20th century European treasures. As impressive as that is, it's the building itself that took my breath away, both inside and out:     Soumaya Museum Mexico City

A cast of Rodin's "Thinker" greets guests in the Museum's soaring, ultra-minimalist lobby. The cathedral-like space is so incredibly white and featureless that my camera couldn't find anything to focus on. For serious. Photography by Brett Walther. 

    Soumaya Museum Mexico City

Optical illusion, much? The unbroken linear arrangement of the hardwood floor almost camouflages the swooping ramps that link the Museum's six floors. Photography by Brett Walther.

  Soumaya Museum Mexico City

The top floor of the museum is enitrely dedicated to European sculpture. Check out the amazing lighting installation overhead... Like the vast shapeless white space of the lobby, it's strikingly surreal. Photography by Brett Walther. 

    Soumaya Museum Mexico City

Heavenly host. Photography by Brett Walther.

    Soumaya Museum Mexico City

Man without a face. Or belly. Photography by Brett Walther. 

      Soumaya Museum Mexico City

 Surreal life. Photography by Brett Walther. 

      Soumaya Museum Mexico City

 Rodins brush shoulders with Dalis. Photography by Brett Walther. 

      Soumaya Museum Mexico City

 And here's that curious Van Gogh I'd mentioned earlier: 1884's "After the Storm," or "Shepherd With a Flock of Sheep." Certainly never would have pegged it as a Van Gogh if I hadn't read the marker. Photography by Brett Walther. 

      Soumaya Museum Mexico City

 Even this Greek marble staircase serves as a display for sculpture. Photography by Brett Walther.

      Soumaya Museum Mexico City

Appropriately, the Thinker begins and ends your Museum experience. Photography by Brett Walther.

    If you go to Museo Soumaya: * Admission is free. * Allow yourself at least three hours to cover the 170,000 square feet of exhibits. * After you've browsed the collection, treat yourself to an awesome meal. The museum is located in Mexico City's posh Polanco district, offering some of the city's top shops and high-end restaurants.   More to do in Mexico City: * Check out the Metropolitan Cathedral. * Explore Aztec ruins. * Take a cruise on a trajinera.     Follow me on Twitter!  
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Touring Mexico City: The Soumaya Museum

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