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With more than 20 museums focusing on everything from paleontology and anthropology to tequila and contemporary art, as well as a thriving gallery scene that varies from traditional Jalisco arts and crafts to cutting-edge contemporary works, Guadalajara is quickly becoming a cultural capital. Exploring the city’s rich cultural legacy is all part of the Guadalajara experience.

Instituto Cultural Cabañas
Originally built in the early 19th century as a hospice for orphans, the elderly, and disabled people, the Instituto Cultural Cabañas is best known for its domed chapel, which was decorated by José Clemente Orozco in the late 1930s. The master muralist painted the history of Mexico in a series of frescoes, including his masterpiece, “Man of Fire.” Named a Unesco World Heritage site in 1997, the building houses a cultural institute that also stages any temporary art exhibits. Learn more

Museo Regional de Guadalajara
An impressive example of late 18th-century Baroque architecture, the Museo Regional de Guadalajara houses pre- and post- conquest exhibits featuring not only artifacts and photographs, but also wonderful painted portraits and landscapes—and a paleontological collection that includes the entire skeleton of a wooly mammoth.

City Museum
Housed in a renovated 18th-century farmhouse, the Museum of the City of Guadalajara traces the history, traditions, and customs of Guadalajara from its founding in 1542 to today.

Museo de las Artes de la Universidad de Guadalajara
When the University of Guadalajara turned its rectory into a showcase of contemporary Jalisco art, the French Renaissance building came with two important José Clemente Orozco murals pre-installed. Complementing the permanent collection of works by homegrown talents, the museum’s temporary exhibits feature national and international masters.

Museo de Arte Raúl Anguian
Guadalajara’s foremost modern and contemporary arts center, Museo de Arte Raúl Anguiano was created to display a collection of 100 or so pieces by the beloved Guadalajara-born artist Raúl Anguiano. The museum, which also hosts films, lectures, and workshops, houses a collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions of important works by artists such as Leonora Carrington, Rufino Tamayo, and Gabriel Flores among others.

Guadalajara’s gallery scene is attracting attention from collectors from Los Angeles to Madrid. Los Angeles artist Eduardo Sarabia turned a former art studio of José Clemente Orozco into a gallery/artist residency space called PAOS. And Spaniards Inés López-Quesada and Silvia Ortiz opened the Mexican branch of their gallery, Travesía Cuatro, in Guadalajara to be closer to their key artists. But leading the scene is homegrown gallery Curro y Poncho, which also showcases some of Guadalajara’s brightest talents.

Arts and rafts Shopping in Tlaquepaque and Tonalá
Tlaquepaque’s cobblestone Independencia Street is lined with galleries and up-market boutique arts and crafts shops featuring ceramics, wooden furniture, papier-mâché, blown glass, and embroidered cloth. Sculptor Sergio Bustamante’s store is like a museum in itself, and the neighborhood’s Colonial-style streets, plazas, and gardens are the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of gallery hopping. Many travelers make Tlaquepaque their home base in Guadalajara. Experience a piece of Guadalajara history itself by staying at properties like La Villa del Ensueno Hotel or San Pietro Hotel Boutique.

To experience traditional Mexican arts and crafts such as ceramics and pottery at their source, the nearby artisan village of Tonalá is a fascinating day trip. More down-market than Tlaquepaque, Tonalá offers bargain prices and a bustling shopping experience in authentic Mexico.

Return to Historic Hotels Worldwide's Guadalajara Guide


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