Lima’s art museum, MALI, reopens
MALI is regarded as one of the most important art collections in Latin America.
Visitors can trace 3,000 years of Peruvian history through a permanent exhibition of 1,200 pieces, from pre-Inca ceramics to 20th Century abstract works, housed in an ironwork palace built by the Eiffel Company.
After an intensive remodeling, the Art Museum of Lima, widely regarded as one of the finest collections in Latin America, has reopened. Known as the MALI, its Spanish acronym, its permanent displays include more than 1,200 works covering three millennia of history and civilization in the area we know call Peru. They begin with spectacular pre-Colombian ceramics, textiles and metals, from cultures including the Mochica, Nasca and, of course, Inca. The museum’s 34 galleries, then take the visitor on a curatorial tour de force, through the colonial and republican eras up to the mid-20th Century.
Among the MALI’s many highlights are the works of the 19th Century indigenista movement, using European styles to represent the lives of ordinary, often rural, Peruvians and “The Funeral of Atahualpa”, an epic 19th Century depiction of this historic event by Luis Montero, a Peruvian artist who had based himself in Florence. Other highpoints of the MALI collection include its extensive photography collection and silverwork from the colonial and republican periods.
Situated in downtown Lima, the Palacio de Exposición (Exhibition Palace), the building that houses the MALI, is also worth a look. One of the first iron edifices in Peru, it was originally designed — by France’s Eiffel Company no less — to house a public exhibition in 1872. Since then it has doubled up as a hospital, during the 1879-1991 War of the Pacific and, during the early 20th Century, as the lower house of Peru’s national congress, before in 1954 being recommitted to something resembling its original purpose of housing the country’s main art collection, including donations from numerous private collectors and the artists themselves. Although the outer façade remains perfectly preserved, the interior of the building has been entirely remodeled into a world-class home for this important collection. You might now want to consider adding an extra half-day to your itinerary in Lima!
To include a visit to the MALI in your unique, individually tailored Peru itinerary, contact the Peru Empire Company at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +51-1-700-5100 or, if you are in the US, 347-713-7030/34.