The Best Art Galleries in Puebla, Mexico

The International Museum of the Baroque promotes knowledge of historical, scientific and cultural events that have had repercussions on art
The International Museum of the Baroque promotes knowledge of historical, scientific and cultural events that have had repercussions on art | © Diego Bernal / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lydia Carey
1 October 2020

Located southeast of Mexico City is the city of Puebla. Known for its history, architecture and traditional art forms such as pottery, it comes as no surprise that the city is brimming with art galleries – so we’ve rounded up the ones which most deserve a spot on your itinerary.

Casa Besign

Art Gallery
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This ancient Porfirian-era mansion – once the home of 1940s actress María Arroyo – has been transformed by the hands of dozens of artists. Interior decorators, fine artists, painters, woodworkers and even a poet have made tiny corners of the house their own, imbuing the space with a wildly eclectic look and surprises around every corner. Some took a traditional approach – including antiques and Puebla talavera pottery – while others opted for sleek modernity. Now the house at 917 Reforma is an ambling and grandiose art gallery, displaying the work of local geniuses.

Barrio de Artista

Art Gallery
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Puebla de Zaragoza, Mexico, October 15, 2018 - Artist quarter or Barrio del Artista in historic centre of Puebla city with young woman sitting on low wall at night.
© MaxPhotoArt / Alamy Stock Photo

Puebla City’s Barrio de Artista is not only beautiful for the art displayed here, but for the space itself. Also known as Plazuela del Torno, the Artists Quarter is a leafy, cobblestone plaza where painters, dancers, sculptors and other craftsmen set up to engage with the public for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. More often than not you’ll come across drawing or painting classes being held al fresco, or an artist hard at work on a piece in front of their individual studio – which, of course, means there are opportunities to purchase the art direct from the artists.

Municipal Palace Art Gallery

Art Gallery
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Part of the Municipal Institute for Art and Culture, the Municipal Palace Art Gallery hosts artists from across several disciplines to exhibit in their space. Among the works of art, the gallery also hosts book signings, theater performances, conferences, talks and an array of other community events. The exhibits tend to focus on contemporary art – though that doesn’t rule out the work of a retrospective artist whose work aligns with a clear political, social or cultural message for society today.

Casa del Puente

Art Gallery
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Casa del Puente (roughly translated as bridge house) is an art gallery in Cholula. The space is welcoming and easy, where art and the art of conversation exist side by side. The gallery promotes local artists and a revolving collection of pieces from various disciplines. It also hosts talks, conferences workshops for aspiring artists, theatrical and music performances and concert afternoons. There is a painting gallery, a gift and crafts shop and a library, along with a cafeteria – meaning that it is totally possible to spend a whole day here.

International Museum of the Baroque

Museum
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Mexico, Puebla town, Model of the city of Puebla de los Angeles in the International Museum of the Baroque.
© AGF Srl / Alamy Stock Photo

Designed by Japanese architect Toyo Itō, the International Museum of the Baroque is dedicated to baroque art. The contemporary white building has been described as a metropolis of art as it promotes knowledge of historical, scientific and cultural events that have had repercussions on art. Educating guests on culture, art and daily life through music, theater, fashion, literature and architecture, the museum is as intriguing as it is aesthetically pleasing. It also has a focus on showcasing the relevance of baroque art in today’s society.

Mercado Negro Art Gallery

Art Gallery
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Founded and run by Nora Adame and Alejandro Osorio, the Mercado Negro Art Gallery is a promoter of contemporary art in Cholula, just outside the state capital. The gallery hosts revolving exhibitions of international artists that make up its vast and eclectic portfolio, a list which currently includes Alberto Ibáñez Cerda, Alejandro Osorio, Omar Árcega, Dulce Pinzón, César López y López and Fabián Ugalde. The gallery also works in collaboration with several artists, meaning it’s able to access what others can’t, along with having insider insight to pass onto guests.

Talavera Museum and Gallery

Museum
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This museum and gallery is part of the Talavera Celia, one of the city’s many professional talavera pottery workshops. A visit here is the perfect way to gain a fuller understanding of this important regional craft and its history. The museum displays decorative arts, as well as both traditional and avant-garde sculpture, along with everyday talavera household items. Celia’s has been distinguished with a Dominion of Origin recognition and all the work it displays has been certified as created with traditional talavera techniques.

San Pedro Art Museum

Museum
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San Pedro Art Museum, located in a former 16th-century hospital, Indigenous art exhibition, Puebla, Mexico
© Bosiljka Zutich / Alamy Stock Photo

Considered an odd location to showcase art, the San Pedro Art Museum opened in 1999 in what was a hospital in the 16th century. The museum features both permanent and rotating exhibitions: there are a variety of galleries displaying both national and international contemporary artworks of varying themes on a temporary basis, and a permanent exhibit on the history of the hospital, the pharmacy and the reconstitution of the building.

Capilla del Arte

Art Gallery
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Roughly translated, the name means “the chapel of art,” and in 2009 the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation awarded part of the building to the Universidad de las Américas Puebla. The building itself is of an eclectic French style, with green iron and glass from France, and was assembled in Puebla. Since then the Capilla del Arte has become a privileged location, and the Universidad de las Américas Puebla has created an aesthetic space in which audiences can experience and learn about the art showcased here.

Museo Casa del Mendrugo

Art Gallery
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Situated in Downtown Puebla, the Museo Casa del Mendrugo is a speciality art museum located in a house. The museum was the first archaeological site discovered in Puebla that proves pre-Hispanic population along with the production of majolica or talavera (pottery) in Pubela. In 2010, the excavations of the house made significant contributions to the evolution of the city, so restoration of the site began. Since then the house has become a museum that showcases the history and art of the site to locals and tourists.

Museo Regional de Puebla

Art Gallery
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Regional Museum of Mexican Revolution located in the House Of The Serdan Brothers, Courtyard with Serdan sculpture, Puebla, Mexico
© Bjanka Kadic / Alamy Stock Photo

In 2017 the Museo Regional de Puebla opened in a former psychiatric hospital that belonged to a religious order. Covering the history of the area, the geography and volcanoes with touchscreen displays offering several language choices, the museum provides a lot of educational knowledge. Among the displays is local artwork, best appreciated when you understand what was happening in that era and the history behind it. To break up the visit, there is a restaurant that serves local cuisine at affordable prices.

Museo Jose Luis Bello y Gonzales

Art Gallery
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A cross between a home and a museum, Museo Jose Luis Bello y Gonzales allows you to see how the wealthy of Puebla once lived. There are many architecturally beautiful buildings in the city and this is one of them. Entry is just 40 pesos ($1.83), and includes a tour from a local guide who tells you the history of the family who donated their home and collections. Guides take you from room to room showcasing the family’s various collections, with European and Chinese art at the forefront. Little details in the decor and even the doors are masterpieces, showing just how heavily influenced the family was by art.

Museo de Artes Populares

Art Gallery
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A vibrant, colorful and very Mexican art museum, the Museo de Artes Populares is now home to new displays of pottery, textiles, art and traditional costumes – hosting work from different artisans in Puebla and truly showcasing Mexican culture, beliefs and lifestyle. There are a variety of arts and crafts workshops, but the highlight is (surprisingly) the kitchen, where it is rumored that mole poblano (a traditional marinade) was invented by the nuns. An architectural feat in its time, with authentic tiled ceilings, a visit here is worthwhile and only 25 pesos ($1.14) to enter.

Amparo Museum

Museum
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Mexico, State of Puebla, Puebla, Museo Amparo
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Located in the centre of Puebla City, the Museo Amparo is considered one of the most important museums in Mexico. In 1991 it was sponsored by the Amparo Foundation, which was founded by Manuel Espinoza Yglesias in honor of his wife. It has both national and international exhibitions, some temporary and some permanent, and there is a focus on pre-Hispanic, viceregal, modern and contemporary art – in order to inspire and work with other cultural institutions in Mexico and around the world. There is a program of activities on offer, including academic, artistic, educational and recreational.

Additional reporting by Vanessa Gainford

These recommendations were updated on October 1, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.