Museum of Art of Lima-MALI
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Museum of Art of Lima-MALI

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Museum of Art of Lima-MALI

Located in the historic Palacio de la Exposición, on March 10, 1961, the permanent exhibition halls were officially inaugurated. The museum houses collections that explain the history of Peruvian art: pre-Columbian, colonial, 19th and 20th century, and contemporary art. It also houses collections of photography, colonial and republican silverware.


The Lima Art Museum (MALI) s one of the most important in all of Peru. It currently occupies the exhibition palace, one of the precursor buildings of the neo-Renaissance style. Inside there are permanent and temporary exhibitions that show art through Peruvian history. Its collections of ceramics and Inca textiles stand out. It also offers plastic arts courses for children and young people. It is one of the main disseminators of art in the country.


Description of the MALI

MALI is a museum that exhibits the historical development of art in Peru, from pre-Inca times to the present. It presents permanent and temporary exhibitions. The rooms are: pre-Columbian art, textiles, colonial art, silverware, republican art (19th century), costumbrista art, 20th century, photography and contemporary art.


The museum was created in 1959 thanks to the initiative of a group of Peruvian businessmen and intellectuals such as: Carlos Neuhaus Ugarteche, Jorge Basadre Grohmann, Jaime Bayly, Fernando Berckemeyer, Juan Landázuri Ricketts, José Antonio Lavalle, Aurelio Miró Quesada Sosa, Pedro de Osma Gildemeister, Raúl Porras Barrenechea and others who formed the 'Patronato de las Artes' with 24 members in total.


The museum is located in the 'Exhibition Palace', a neo-Renaissance-style building built in 1872 by the architect Antonio Leonardi. Its purpose was the center of the 'International Exhibition of Lima'. However, after its remodeling in 1957 it became the new Museum of Art of Lima.


Over the years the museum's facilities and exhibitions have been improving. It currently has nine rooms that exhibit more than 17,000 works of art that account for more than 3,000 years of art in Peru.


In addition to permanent and temporary exhibitions, MALI offers: a large library, a Peruvian art archive (also in digital version), courses - workshops for the general public, educational programs and much more.


Location: the Exhibition Park

The MALI is inside the famous Parque de la Exposición, a public space full of vegetation and culture. It is one of the most emblematic spaces of the historic city of Lima.


Its exact address is Avenida 9 de Diciembre, Cercado de Lima.


It has a land of 4,500 square meters. Paseo Colón avenue is the main way of reference.


How to get there from Miraflores?

From any part of the city of Lima you can get to MALI traveling along Paseo Colón avenue. From the tourist district of Miraflores, it can be reached by taking a taxi or the 'Corredor azul' (public transport bus) that crosses the entire Arequipa avenue. The cost of this last trip is only 1 sol 50 cents.


The exhibition palace

The exhibition palace is inside the Exhibition Park. It is the best example of Neo-Renaissance (eclectic) architecture in Lima. Its construction was at the same time as the Parque de la Exposición in 1870. At that time its main attraction was the 'Lieutenant Pedro Ruiz Gallo' watch, which was stolen during the 'War with Chile' in 1883.


Because it used iron for its immense columns, it is considered a precursor building in Latin America. It used French and Venetian architecture for its construction. It was the headquarters of the International Exhibition of Lima in 1872. Later in 1954 and to date it is the headquarters of the Museum of Art of Lima.


The museum

These are the permanent exhibition halls offered by MALI:

  • Pre-Columbian art room – Exhibits pieces of pre-Inca and Inca culture. Of the first group, the Mochica, Nazca, Vicús and more ceramics and textiles stand out. Of the second group, the collection of queros and quipus stands out. The works belong to different cultures that settled over more than a thousand years throughout the entire territory of Peru.
  • Textile room – This room is specialized in the different textiles that were found along the Peruvian coast from an antiquity of 8 thousand years (work found in the Guitarreros cave (Ancash). The textiles of the Paracas cultures, born and inca
  • Colonial Art Room – Works that were created after the Spanish conquest of Peru in the 16th century. The canvases produced by the so-called 'cusco school' of painting stand out. Ceramic works worked during the colonial era are also exhibited.
  • Silverware Room – This room exhibits goldsmith pieces, mainly made of silver, and that were created from the Spanish conquest to the 20th century. The room was created in 2003 thanks to the donation and collaboration of important personalities such as Javier Prado Ugarteche, Luisa Álvarez-Calderón and Waldemar Schoroeder y Mendoza.
  • Republican Art Room (19th century) – Works of art, mainly canvases, created throughout the 19th century, during the first years of Peruvian independence. Some of the most representative works belong to Ignacio Merino, Francisco Laso, José Gil de Castro and Luis Montero.
  • Customs Art Room – Costumbrismo emerged during the 19th century as a way of showing the customs and cultural manifestation of Peruvians. MALI has the largest collection of traditional pictorial works in Peru. Artists such as Pancho Fierro, Ignacio Merino, Carlos Baca – Flor, Enrique Domingo Barreda and more stand out.
  • Republican Art Room (20th century) – Works of art by 20th century artists, many of whom flourished after the creation of the School of Fine Arts in 1919. That century gave rise to artistic movements such as indigenismo. Some of the most representative artists in this room are: Teófilo Castillo, José Sabogal, Julia Codesido, Mario Urteaga, Ricardo Grau and more.
  • Photography room – As its name indicates, this room exhibits a historical collection of photography in Peru. From the time of the teardrop (between 1842 and 1859). Among the artists, the photographer Martín Chambi stands out, recognized as the pioneer of portraiture in the country.
  • Contemporary art room – This room displays artistic works from 1940 to the present. It is worth noting the influence of the 'Internal War' in Peru (1980 to 2000). Some of the most recognized works belong to: Fernando de Szyszlo, Tilsa Tsuchiya, Gerardo Chávez, Luz María Bedoya, Teresa Burga, Juan Javier Salazar and more.

More MALI services

MALI also offers a room for temporary exhibitions, which was inaugurated in 1957.


The MALI library is called 'Manuel Solari Swayne' in homage to the Peruvian intellectual who donated part of his personal collection for the creation of the library. Today it has more than 15 thousand volumes mainly on painting, architecture, photography, popular art and more.


The institution also has an archive of more than 2,500 portfolios on the subject of art in Peru. The file was installed in 1996. It is for use by researchers.


MALI offers courses for everyone, whether children, adolescents or adults. They include courses in photography, painting, music, martial arts, dance, theater and more.


Entrance cost

These are the entrance prices to MALI:

  • Foreign tourists: 30 Peruvian soles.
  • Peruvians and residents in Peru: 15 Peruvian soles.
  • Adults over 65, students, teachers and people with disabilities: 15 soles.
  • Adults over 65 years of age, students, teachers and people with disabilities from Peru: 5 Peruvian soles.
  • Children (up to 8 years old): free.

Office hours

The MALI opens its doors from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 in the morning to 7 at night.


On Saturdays the opening hours are from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.


Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

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