Open Your Mind at an Art Museum in San Juan

Vida, by Augusto Marin

Are you looking for a little quiet culture in the heart of San Juan? Maybe something to do on a rainy or super hot day? The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico are just a few blocks apart, and they are full of interesting objects of art.

I have to admit, right off the bat, that Ray and I are not big fans of contemporary art. However, a friend helped us to define it: Art is something that releases an emotional response from the viewer. Ray and I had lots of emotions during the time we spent at these museums — some good and some not so good. But all in all, we had an enjoyable afternoon being enlightened by the art world.

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (Museum of Art of Puerto Rico) is just off of Route 26 in Santurce. It is a lovely museum, with the ground floor devoted to classic art work. One wing contains a gallery with paintings, wood carvings and religious articles from the 17th to 19th centuries. The opposite wing’s gallery has more recent works from 1930-1960. There is also a nice museum gift shop.

Upstairs, there is a gallery that has artwork from 1950-1990. There are also a number of galleries that had paintings and other works that were more contemporary. These exhibits change through out the year.

In the basement, there are craft workshop areas for children, where they can take classes and create their own art.

Vista de la Bahia de San Juan, by Angel Botelol Barros

Outside, behind the museum, there is a beautiful, 2-acre sculpture garden, It has a large koi pond and pathways through trees and plantings. It is very relaxing, and a lovely place to enjoy nature in the city.

Most of the information in the museum, including the map and some of the brochures, is available in English or Spanish. Some of the information about the artwork was bilingual, some was not. There are clean restrooms on each floor of the museum.

Garden at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico

Cost of admission: Adults $6, Children 5-12 years old $3, Seniors 60+ $3. Seniors over 75 years old are free. Plus tax. There is no admission charge on Wednesdays after 2pm.

The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, Wednesday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Allow a minimum of 2 hours.

You can call 787-977-6277 for more information.

You can visit the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico web site for more information.

The museum is located at 299 De Diego Ave in Santurce. There is paid parking in the museum parking deck.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico) is located a few blocks away from the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, in an old school building. The galleries are located all around a large open courtyard. There are 2 floors, with a few galleries on each. These galleries ranged from paintings to mixed-media, sculpture to black-light work, to sound and video installations.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico

There is an additional small gallery in the basement where art created in the museum workshops is on display.

While some of the names/signs throughout the galleries were bilingual, most were just in Spanish. Their literature is in Spanish only. There is a small museum gift shop on the first floor. There are clean restrooms in the basement.

admission fee- $5 per adult, $3 for children, seniors.

The museum is open Tuesday + Thursday 10am to 4pm, Wednesday 9am-4pm, Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday, 11am-5pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

Allow a minimum of 2 hours.

You can call 787-977-4030 for more information.

You can visit the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico Facebook page for more information.

The museum is located at the corner of Ponce de Leon Ave and Robert Todd Ave in Santurce. There is free parking on the museum grounds.

While You’re in the Area …

You might consider stopping by the Plaza del Mercado in Santurce. It’s located within blocks of either of these museums. Inside the mercado, you’ll find fresh fruit/vegetable stands and some counters where you can get a bite to eat or a fresh fruit smoothie. Outside, the area around the mercado is a vibrant center of activity from Thursday night through the weekend.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ... assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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Been to both museum and they are lovely. They are usually quite empty so you have the place for yourself. Also worth checking out is the street art all over Santurce. Especially when they are doing Santurce es Ley (a grafitty and urban street art festival), they bring artist from all over the world, music, food trucks, ect.

Comment by Pamela Felicié on 06 Dec 2016

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