Madrid Art Museums Guide

Madrid Art Museums

Madrid is a top destination for art lovers. From the contemporary art collections at the Reina Sofia to Prado’s aesthetic paintings, there is literally no limit to how deep you can dive into the art scene of this graceful Spanish city. It is impossible to see everything during a Madrid museum tour, but some must-see art attractions should have a prominent spot on your tour list. Here are five of the best Madrid art museums.

1. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

With a collection that is so significant to the art world, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum on Paseo del Prado can simply not be ignored during a visit to Madrid. When visiting this museum, you will marvel at Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s private collection of more than 750 paintings. The 19th century museum building is an art piece in itself. It adds a refined touch to the stunning and incredibly broad collection of top-notch paintings that it houses. From 13th century Italian Masterpieces, to beautiful examples of French Impressionism, this incredible art museum has it all – and it is an absolute must-see attraction.

2. Museum of Romanticism

The Museum of Romanticism on Calle San Mateo has more than 1,600 craft works. Various paintings, pianos and furniture pieces represent the 19th century romantic period in Spain. Be sure to research nearby Madrid hotels like for example Husa Princesa, because you will want to come back to see the extensive craft collections at this lovely museum.

3. Museum of Lázaro Galdiano

The Museum of Lázaro Galdiano on Calle de Serrano is another charming art house with an immense collection of paintings. 15,000 paintings here show scenes and creations from various centuries. Some of the artists who earned their spot in this museum are the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch and the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Beautiful art should always be displayed in an equally beautiful building. The charming Museum of Lázaro Galdiano mansion and its surrounding gardens will not let you down.

4. Museum Cerralbo

Museum Cerralbo on Calle de Ventura Rodríguez houses the extraordinary artwork collection of the late Marques, collector, and traveler Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa. The painting entitled The Ecstasy of St. Francis of Assisi from El Greco is one of the highlights of his collection. Besides paintings, this jam-packed museum also displays countless curiosities and craft works like clocks, Japanese armor pieces, and pipes. The historic mansion, in which these artworks and curiosities are on display, is a beautiful and detailed representation of an aristocratic house. During the year, this Madrid art museum organizes various concerts and special exhibitions.

Madrid Art Museums House Some of the Worlds Most Extraordinary Collections

Madrid is a city that cannot be ignored by art enthusiasts. Its museums and galleries are of so much importance that you most likely find you way back to this city on regular occasions. Displayed collections cover time periods of more than 700 years. They are beautiful, graceful and full of historic relevance. Don’t know where to start? Visit the described attractions and you will easily find a century, art movement, or artist of your liking.

Kathmandu Photo Gallery – Pictures of Bangkok

 

Kathmandu Photo galleryAspects of Bangkok in the Kathmandu Photo Gallery

The Kathmandu Photo Gallery shows me a familiar yet unknown aspect of Bangkok. Photographer Dale Konstanz shoots photographs inside Bangkok taxis. While looking at his photographs, I get to know a little bit more about the taxi drivers. The drivers who brought me to many destinations in the city. But today I learn more about what moves them.

Kathmandu Photo Gallery

Small but worthwhile. The exhibition room houses series of interesting pictures. They show snapshots of the world. You can visit the whole gallery in 10 minutes but you can be left wondering for hours about the images, which print themselves in your brain. Images which are made by locals and foreigners, who put their lens on Thailand and the world.

Getting there

You find the Kathmandu Gallery at 87 Pan Road (opposite to the Indian Temple) in Bangkok. To get there you have to take the BTS Skytrain to the stations Surasak or Chong Nonsi. From there it is only a 10 minutes walk. You can recognize Pan Road by the Myanmar Embassy which is located at the beginning of the street. Keep your eyes open as you could pass the Kathmandu building easily.
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What to see

You can see photography exhibitions which change every few months. Check out the Kathmandu Gallery website (You can find the link at the bottom of this post) for the most recent photographic displays. The works are from local and international photographers. They showcase interesting photographs from all aspects of life. This Bangkok sight is definitely worth a visit when you happen to be in Bangkok.

Useful links

  • Kathmandu Photo Gallery: The official website of this gallery. Read more about the gallery and its (upcoming) exhibitions. You can also read a variety of articles and find more information about the photographers.
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Museum Of Siam – Discover The Thai Identity

The Museum of SiamThai history in the Museum of Siam

While in charge of the canon, I am attacked by a large group of warriors, who approach me from the front. I aim the cannon, load, and I blast away. Three soldiers on the right flank of the group fly through the air. Then the ground starts to rumble. A large war elephant comes charging in from the left flank of the group. I quickly reload and aim my canon at the approaching giant.

There is a big bang and a lot of dust. The elephant and its accompanying warriors disappear in the fire of the explosion. Then I am suddenly surprised by a very angry looking warrior who jumps out of the dust. He is right in front of me and it is to late to react. He swings his battle sword and the last words I see are: GAME OVER.

Museum of Siam

This Museum of Siam provides an inside into the rich and turbulent history of the Thai people and their country. You learn about their culture and heritage via a very interactive exhibition. Videos, sound recordings, photos and a war game will certainly entertain young children and also their accompanying parents.

Location

The Museum of Siam is located at Sanam Chai Rd in the old part of Bangkok. Other nearby sights are Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. You can easily recognize the museum because it is located in a neoclassical building, which has been formerly used by the Thai Ministry of Commerce.

Getting there

Take the Chao Phraya river boat to Tha Tien pier. Get off the boat and walk from the pier to the main road. Then walk to the right, in the direction of Wat Pho. Keep following the main road (Th Maharat). After Wat Pho you will see a school and university.

Keep walking till you see the museum walls on your left hand. Enter Soi Setthakan and follow the walls. Halfway down the street there is a passage. Go inside and walk to the main entrance of the building. The walk from the pier takes about 5 minutes. Be careful at the surrounding streets. There is a lot of traffic.

What to see

The main exhibition consists of 17 rooms. Each of these rooms have a theme, which is related to Thai history and culture. The rooms have topics like the founding of Ayutthaya, Buddhism, village life and Thailand today. There is also a war room where you can play an interactive war game. This game will take you right into a battle, where you are in charge a 19th century canon.

You can visit this sight from Tuesday till Sunday. The opening times are 10:00 AM till 18:00 PM, and the admission is 300 baht (about 9 dollars) for foreigners and 100 bath for Thai people. At the time of my visit there where also temporary exhibitions, which were on display around the main building. There was a butterfly garden and an exhibition about silk.Neoclassical architecture in the Museum of Siam

Tips

Come late to avoid large masses of children and the high entrance price. You can enter for free after 16:00 PM. I came at 16:15 PM and had the building practically for myself. Which is nice because it is a very interactive exhibition. You don’t want to have to fall in line to push buttons, shoot cannons, watch videos and listen to sound recordings.

Useful links

  • Museumsiam.com: The official Museum of Siam website. Check it before you go to this sight, so that you are up to date about the current opening times, prices and expositions.
  • ndmi.or.th: The website of the National Museum Institute, which might be more interesting for researchers. Visit this site to network with the institute or check news updates and current events.

100 Tonson Gallery – Showcasing Thai Contemporary Art

 

100 Tonson Gallery in Bangkok100 Tonson Gallery – A force for contemporary art

I feel uneasy when I enter the building for the first time. My knowledge of contemporary art is very small. Therefore I am a bit embarrassed when I see a small privately owned collection, which is on display in just two rooms. I expect to be in and out in only a few minutes.

However, the small exhibition room creates the opportunity for a more personal approach. The gallery’s friendly assistant, Harmiss starts a conversation with me. He takes the time to tell me everything about the gallery and its exhibitions. I am surprised to hear from him that this small art house has a big international reputation.

100 Tonson Gallery

The gallery opened in 2003 and just celebrated its 10th year anniversary in January 2014. Despite of its small size, this art house is pretty famous and important in Southeast Asia. For example, it is Thailand’s first and Southeast Asia’s only gallery that has been showing its works at Art Basel. This is one of the most important international fairs for contemporary and modern art.

This art house gained its important position because of its many international connections and its presence at important international fairs like Art Dubai and Art Stage Singapore. 100 Tonson Gallery supports (emerging) artists by showcasing their works, and supporting the development and distribution of (contemporary) art.

Location

The address of the gallery is at 100 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd in Bangkok. Soi Tonson is a quiet and green street with lots of trees and upper class houses. The artworks are being displayed in one of those houses. It is named after the street in which it is located.

Getting there

Take the BTS SkyTrain (Sukhumvit Line towards Bearing) to station Chit Lom. From there take exit 4 and walk in the opposite direction of the traffic. After about 100 meters you will see a street sign that says Soi Tonson. Turn right and walk about 300 meters into the street. You will find the building on the opposite site of the Royal Dutch Embassy.

Soi Tonson

What to see

On display are the private collections of founder Ek-Anong “Aey” Phanachet. The exhibition room itself is designed by Christian Liaigre. The exhibitions consist of contemporary works from Thai and international artists. The collections change every two months. Famous artists who have displayed works in the past are for example Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama and Pinaree Sanpitak. You can enter the exhibition room for free.

Tip

Do you like to visit galleries in Bangkok? Then make sure you obtain a free copy of the Bangkok Art Map (BAM). This useful monthly brochure provides you with updates about the latest exhibitions and where you can find them. You find the Bangkok Art Map at information counters of museums and galleries.
What is your favorite gallery in Bangkok and what makes you like it so much?
Useful links

  • 100tonsongallery.com: The official website of this gallery. Visit their site to learn more about current exhibitions and activities. You can also read more information about the artists which showcased their work in the exhibition room. The site also provides many pictures of the displayed artworks.
  • sea.blouinartinfo.com: Click this link to read a BLOUINARTINFO interview with Aey Phanachet.  In this interview, which she gave back in March 2013, She talks about the 10th year anniversary shows and the importance of introducing (Thai) contemporary art to the world.
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Art And Culture In Bangkok

Bangkok Art and Culture CentreArt and Culture – Sophistication in a rough city 

An elderly woman who combs the grey hairs of her husband, colorful protesters who raise the Thai flag in front of colorless policeman, the Baiyoke Sky Tower surrounded by the calm dark blanket of the evening. Aspects of the daily life in Thailand, captured by artists and admired by me in Bangkok’s Art and Culture Centre.

Location

The Bangkok Art and culture Centre (BACC) has a very convenient location. It is situated at 939 Rama I Road in the middle of the city centre. The building stands next to the MBK shopping mall and the National Stadium BTS SkyTrain station. Other nearby buildings are Siam Discovery and Siam Paragon.

Getting there

Take the BTS SkyTrain to the National Stadium station. From there it is only a short walk to the Art and Culture Centre. You can reach the building via the skywalk that is connected to the BTS station. You can also get of at Siam station and take a 5 minute walk. You reach the BACC by walking in the direction of Siam Discovery. Opening times are 10:00 AM till 21:00 PM (closed on Mondays)

BACC next to the MBK Mall

What to to see

At the lower floors of the building you find a variety of shops, which sell artistic products. For example t-shirts with creative prints, colorful post cards, shining jewelries and large paintings. The building also houses an art library and some restaurants and cafes. There are exhibitions at the higher (7th, 8th, 9th) floors of the building. These exhibitions show the works of various (Thai) artists.

The art

The displayed artworks impressed me, especially the paintings. It was nice to discover that many Thai painters really manage to capture the beauty of every day live. It made me realize how beautiful every day life can be. The artworks also have interesting names, which make you think about what you see, like the paintings they capture the imagination.

Why you should visit the BACC

This art gallery in Bangkok is a very convenient sight to visit during daytime. The place offers a calm, cool and sophisticated escape from a hot and rough city. The gallery is not crowded with tourists and you will enjoy the cool air conditioning instead of the boiling sun. Another good point is that you can enter the building for free.

Tip

At the ground floor you find a little restaurant/cafe which is called Art Cafe. It is a nice place to sit down after you walked around in the building. The friendly staff serves good food and drinks. Sit down and listen to some relaxing music, or start working on some of your own art if you got inspired by the creative atmosphere.

Art Cafe in BACC

Do you visit art galleries and museums on your trip? What is your favorite museum in Bangkok?
Useful Links

  • www.bacc.or.th: The official website of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Learn more about BACC and its current exhibitions.
  • BACC on TripAdvisor: Do you want to know if it is a good idea to visit he Bangkok Art and Culture Centre? Read information and reviews about this sight on TripAdvisor and make an informed decision.
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