Guayasamin museum & Chapel of Man

“The Chapel of Man moves away from the religious. It will be a center of recollection, a place where you can meditate on the trajectory of humanity on this continent, for millennia, until today.” Oswaldo Guayasamín.

The Museum of Oswaldo Guayasamin formed by the House Museum is located in the north of Quito, a Museum of Site, and the Chapel of the Man. It later was declared by UNESCO as “Priority Project for Culture”, as well as “Cultural Heritage of the Ecuadorian State” by the National Congress.

Oswaldo Guayasamín, born in Quito in 1919, is one of the greatest Ecuadorian and Latin American painters. His father was of indigenous descent and his mother was a “mestiza”. He studied painting and sculpture and in the year 1942 he had his first exhibition. His work was humanistic and went through 3 stages: “the path of the plain” and his perceptions in a trip through Latin America and its cities, “the age of anger” and the twentieth century destroyer that turns its eyes on how the humanity went against itself and “the age of tenderness” that overturns the work of their hands in expressions relating to their mother and love. His trips through different countries inspired him, to see mestizo, Indian and black people with their cultures and expressions of joy, sadness, tradition, identity and religion; especially of the Andean countries.

But can you imagine a Chapel of Man? In 1996 Oswaldo Guayasamin began his most important work in Quito, an architectural space called “The Chapel of Man” as a tribute to humankind. He was especially inspired by the Latin American people with their suffering, struggle and achievements, honoring them with an exhibition that goes through the pre-Columbian world, the conquest, the colony and the miscegenation.

The place where the museum and house of Guayasamin is located astronomically and with a clearly Andean architecture that recalls the architectural precedents produced by the original peoples of more than 3.000 years ago. It has become one of the most significant cultural buildings of Latin American  identity, both for its architecture and for the works of art on display. 

Here it is also possible to visit the house in which Guayasamin lived, his workshop, exhibition of archaeological pieces, an art library and more. In the courtyard of the Casa Taller (workshop) is the Tree of Life in which the master and his friend, the poet Jorge Enrique Adum, are buried under the shade of a tree that Oswaldo Guayasamin planted himself.

Due to its location you have a wide view of Quito which allows you to admire how the architecture of the place mixes with the landscape of the city. It really is a unique place that is worth visiting.

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