Once you have experienced the beauty of Costa Rica's nature, take the time to visit the Art Museum, where you will admire some of the most significant pieces of art by born and raised artists from the tropical country.
The building located in Saban Park in San Jose's old town is a piece of history itself. Built in the late 1930s, it used to be Costa Rica's first international airport La Sabana.
It preserves the original neoclassical style commonly used at the beginning of the 20th century, which was designed by architect Jose Maria Barrantes Monge. The construction started in 1938 and, the official inauguration was in April 1940.
The building officiated as an international airport terminal till 1955. Then it was moved to Alajuela.
The golden room, where the diplomatic section of the airport used to be, has exceptional national importance too due to the wall sculpted by Luis Feron. The work of Feron was done in 1940 and tells the story of Costa Rica from the pre-Hispanic times until the 1940s.
These carved decorations, as well as the whole building, were considered to be an important landmark for the nation. Therefore, the state decided to donate the building to house the new museum of art.
The restorations for the museum started in 1977 and, the museum inaugurated its doors in April 1978.
Apart from the golden salon explore the Sculpture Garden installed in 2003 and designed by Jorge Jiménez Deredia who also did the main sculpture in the garden known as "Imagen Cósmica" – a white marble structure brought with material from Italy. It is 7 meters tall and weighs about 80 tons.
Find also other sculptures by artists Jose Sancho, and Crisanto Badilla while you take a walk to contemplate the magnificent work of these Costa Rican masters of the art.
The art exhibits
The museum contains around 6000 pieces of art. The biggest part is comprised of Latin American artists like Jose Sancho, Max Jimenez, Francisco Zuniga, and Jorge Jimenez-Deredia. It is the biggest collection in the world of Costa Rican art from the periods mid-19th century to 21st century.
In 1984, an international collection of contemporary art was added to the museum with over 560 pieces. You will find paintings, sculptures, drawings, and more from a variety of nationalities.
A special section is dedicated to the work of Costa Rican artist Juan Manuel Sanchez. His wife donated 4000 pieces of his work to the museum. His art shows the influence of the pre-Hispanic times.
Good to know before going
The entrance to the museum is free. They are opened from Tuesday to Sunday from 9-4. Mondays the museum is closed.