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Museo Soumaya-Casa Guillermo Tovar de Teresa

Photo: Correogsk on Wikimedia Commons.

The Casa Guillermo Tovar de Teresa is a house museum in a rather typical house from 1910, the twilight of the Porfiriato era. The home was purchased by Guillermo Tovar de Teresa in 1995 and he lived there until his death in 2013. Today, the museum is a part of the Soumaya Network of Museums, which run the better-known Souymaya Museum in Polanco, and the older branch at Plaza Loreto.

Considered the chronicler emeritus of Mexico City, Guillermo Tovar de Teresa (1956 – 2013) was a historian and art collector. His collection focused on paintings, but he was also a fan of literature and collector of rare and antique books. He had a deep working knowledge of the works of the great photographers in Mexico. Tovar de Teresa is also remembered as a bibliographer, philanthropist, cultural promoter, music lover, film buff and self-taught Mexican scholar.

He authored numerous books on the art of Nuevo España and wrote frequently for the newspaper La Jornada. At 13, he was an advisor on colonial art to then-President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (who served between 1964 – 1970). At 23, he published his first book, Painting and Sculpture of the Renaissance in Mexico.

Prior to moving into the house, he modernized the sanitary and electrical installations and opened a skylight over the lobby. The checkered corridor was enlarged and a roof was installed over it. Construction also added a library and personal study.

Upon his death, his brother, the first Secretary of Culture, Rafael Tovar de Teresa, had a complete inventory begun, but he too later died. The inventory was completed by members of the family and a team of researchers. The entire collection was then acquired by the Carlos Slim Foundation.

As the Museo Soumaya-Casa Guillermo Tovar de Teresa, the museum opened in December 2019. Since then, it’s been a vital part of understanding Mexico during the Viceroyal Period of the 19th century, and the work and passion of one of the most devoted and curious chroniclers of Mexican history.

Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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