I just got back from the Antioquia Museum (Museo de Antioquia), which is located downtown in front of the Casa de la Cultura Rafael Uribe Uribe (which used to previously be the Gobernación de Antioquia, or the government of Antioquia building). The museum has its basic art staples, but once in a while they bring some great shows, such as Ruperto Ferreira’s botanical illustrations.
The neat thing about Ruperto Ferreira (1845-1912) is that he was the first engineer to graduate in Colombia and was educated in philosophy, literature, science and art. He was also involved in politics and many activities during his time in the Treasury Department and in government railroad projects. Ferreira taught many subjects including botany, zoology, geology, chemistry, engineering and even architecture.
His botanical illustrations, aside from having superb visual and historical quality, show the passing of time on some of the plants – some have little bugs, others have partially eaten leaves. It’s very raw, giving his work much more validity as a documentary of 19th century Colombian illustration, botany and fauna. This exhibit will be open until Feb. 2010, but I really recommend checking out it before if you get the chance.
After walking around the museum my husband and I took a stroll in the Botero Plaza, where you can witness his gorgeous over-sized bronze sculptures. The City of Medellin is currently cleaning and renovating some of the sculptures, so you might come across these peculiar white wood enclosings, each with its own peep hole to see how the workers restore them!
Here’s another typical sight: Human sculptures! This very talented man gives you a small token, a string bracelet, as a thank you for giving him some spare change.
And this lady is just a couple of feet away from the last human sculpture dude.
I hope you get a chance to visit this great part of town!