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Museo Rufino Tamayo is a public contemporary art museum located in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, that produces innovative international contemporary art exhibitions, using its collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as artworks from the collection of its founder, the artist Rufino Tamayo.

Seeking to establish itself as a point of reference of the twenty-first century museum in Mexico and Latin America, the museum produces exhibitions and public programming generating knowledge and information to a diverse audience, enriching and fostering the aesthetic experience and critical senses of its spectators.The

The building was the first major museum in Mexico built with private funds, with Tamayo participating in its design, which won the Premio Nacional de Arte in 1982.

History and description


Rufino Tamayo (Oaxaca, 1899 – Mexico City, 1991) began to collect pieces for his international contemporary art collection from the end of the 1960s, in order to give Mexicans access to twentieth-century art.

The original museum was designed in 1972 by architects Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro González de León.

The result was a modular building with various levels that blends into its surroundings and that has a pre-Hispanic architectural feel.

In 1982 the building received the National Prize for Arts and Sciences (Fine Arts category) for its characteristic design features, together with its plastic and functional solutions.With

Since 1994, it became apparent that the building would need to be adapted to meet its needs for space and to become a cultural institution for a more demanding and participative audience.

The shop and cafeteria were added in improvised spaces in the 1990s.

In 2009, the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta), the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA) and the Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo, A.C. (FORT) developed the idea of the expansion project in order to maintain Rufino Tamayo’s cutting-edge spirit.

It was also agreed that FORT would implement the project and it invited three construction companies to submit proposals.

On June 16, 2011, the stone-laying ceremony was held in the presence of Consuelo Sáizar, President of Conaculta; Teresa Vicencio, Director of the INBA; David Cohen, Chairman of FORT; Carmen Cuenca, Director of the Museo Tamayo and Teodoro González de León, the project’s architect, as well as Marcelo Ebrard, Head of the Mexico City Government and other government representatives, patrons and members of FORT.

On August 7, 2011 the museum was closed to the public and the necessary measures were taken to finally begin the works that concluded in June 2012.

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