The Museum of Light was inaugurated on November 18, 1996 in the Old Temple of the Colegio Máximo de San Pedro y San Pablo, in the Historic Center of Mexico City. That building has been witness to many notable and decisive events in Mexican history. Having spent some 14 years there, for the Bicentennial of Independence in 2010 the museum was moved to the building that had housed the School of the same colegio, one block away.
The Museum opened its doors at the new location in 2011. It’s every bit as exciting a place as it’s old church location. The Museum of Light is operated as a division of the Universum, UNAM Museum of the Sciences. And for all of it’s focus on light, color, optics, and vision, it’s an extraordinary institution in a fitting setting.
Permanent exhibitions focus on areas of interest to artists, designers, and creatives. But the museum also appeals to a general public interested in the science of eyesight, optics, lenses, color, and the epistemology of all of these fields.
The Colegio de San Pedro and San Pablo was merged with the Colegio de San Ildefonso in the 18th century. This striking building from prior to the merger served as the educational wing of the Colegio. In fact, many of the students at the Jesuit institution were trained in purely secular careers. After a tumultuous 19th century, when most of the institution ceased operating as a school, it later became part of the National University (UNAM) and has been since the 20th century.