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Introduction the Botero Museum (Museo Botero), Bogotá, Colombia
You may not have heard of the artist Fernando Botero but his artwork is definitely something to be remembered. His style is unique and is shared throughout all his pieces as can be seen in the Botero Museum/Museo Botero.
This style is that he adds some extra weight to all his art, whether it be people, animals, or objects like guitars and skeletons. For someone like me who is not really a fan of museums, I actually enjoy this one. It was quite amusing to me the first time I went to see Botero’s perspective of these inanimate objects. Even if you don’t know his name, Botero’s artwork is one to be remembered.
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History of Museo Botero, Bogotá
Fernando Botero Angulo was born in Medellin in 1932. In 2000, Botero provided a donation of 208 pieces of art to the Banco de la República. This consisted of 123 items from his personal collection in addition to 85 pieces from other international artists.
With this donation, the museum was founded in the center of Bogotá, in La Candeleria. A colonial house which was previously the office of the archbishop until 1955, was restored under the guidance of Botero.
Botero attended the opening of Museo Botero and inaugurated with these words: “It is for me an infinite pleasure to know that these works of art belong to Colombia today; to know that the students that come into this building will be in touch with the most significant artistic pieces of our times, being able to contemplate, on a permanent basis, original artwork made by great masters; and to know that lovers of painting and sculpture can come visit this haven of peace and stroll quietly through the halls, allowing themselves to be enveloped by modern aesthetics.”
Where is Museo Botero?
The Botero Museum is located in the center of Bogotá which is where there are many activities.
Botero Museum Cl. 11 #4-41, Bogotá, Colombia
How to get to the Botero Museum, Bogotá, Colombia?
To get to Museo Botero, I would highly suggest using a rideshare app, there are several options. It may be helpful to check the recommended apps for Bogotá and Colombia.
You can use the bus system, Transmilenio, however I would not recommend this or taxis for getting around.
I often travel around on the blue SITP buses however depending on where you are, this may take quite a long time to get to your destination as they make many stops. Also it may be difficult to get ones close to your destination.
Schedule for Museo Botero, Bogotá?
The schedule fortunately does not vary too much throughout the week. The Botero Museum is open: Mondays to Saturdays (excluding Tuesdays): 9:00am to 7:00pm
Sundays 10:00am to 5:00pm
And as mentioned, the museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Entrance Fee/Ticket Prices for Botero Museum, Bogotá?
Although most entrance fees are relatively low cost, Museo Botero is even lower, it’s actually free to enter. The museum also provides guided tours, talks, and workshops. An audio guide can be purchased for around $10,000 COP ($1.70US) in English, Spanish, and French. Or you can book a tour around the city center including the Botero Museum.
What to do at Museo Botero, Bogotá?
At the museum, you can do a self-guided tour, or you can pay for an audio guide. There is security in every room to keep an eye on visitors and make sure they do not get to close to the artwork.
Also, there is an alarm system that will briefly signal if you are too close so don’t be too surprised if this goes off. There are different sections within the museum as described below:
(i) West Wing
The west wing of the Botero Museum consists of 123 pieces of art produced by Botero. This includes paintings, drawings, and sculptures representative of the 20th century.
There is much similarity in the perspective he takes in his artwork which makes it quite simple to know which pieces belong to Botero. He has also painted his version of the Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (1978), it’s not something you would expect to see but I love that he painted it to his style.
(ii) East Wing
The east wing of Museo Botero exhibits 85 international pieces demonstrating the evolution of art over time.
The artwork ranges from the oldest by Camille Corot, Gitane au tambourin, from pre-1862. And the most contemporary, an oil painting by Barceló in 1998.
The collection also includes artwork from Picasso, Leger, Renoir, Monet, Dali, Miro, Lipchitz, Giacometti, Beckmann, Freud, Calder, Edgar Degas, Dali, Max Ernst and Bacon.
Such calibre of art has positioned the Botero Museum among the top five public international art collections in Latin America.
When to visit Botero Museum, Bogotá
Fortunately, this is not one of the places that you need to worry about lots of people going so you don’t have to cater to do this on a weekday as would be best to do in other places that are absolutely crowded like going to Monserrate on a weekend. Although, you can actually see the Church at Monserrate from certain points of the museum.
As the museum is indoors, you can go any time of the year. However, you may have to walk a bit to and from the museum depending on where you are getting transport from.
The Botero Museum can take about one to two hours to walk around and see everything so you can keep this in mind when planning.
As with most places in Bogotá, I would highly recommend not being there at night.
What to wear to Museo Botero, Bogotá?
Fortunately, since the Botero Museum is inside you don’t have to worry too much about what you wear. Or if there is a sudden downpour of rain as usually happens in Bogotá.
I would still suggest dressing in layers since it is not completely indoors, and you have to walk in the open to get to the different wings. I would suggest jeans, t-shirt, a jacket, and comfortable shoes. And of course, have an umbrella handy in case you want to walk anywhere else and there is the possibility of rain.
Can you do a Virtual Tour of Botero Museum, Bogotá
There is no official virtual tour of the Botero Museum, however, Google has put together their own version of tours for countless museums. The site also displays who the artist in, when the artwork was created, and their nationality. So you can take your own virtual tour of the Botero Museum.
What else can you do close by Museo Botero
On the same compound as Museo Botero, there are 2 other museums
(i) Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia (MAMU)
(ii) Museo Casa de Moneda
(iii) And even a restaurant – Marcha Restaurante Café. They have a wide variety of drinks as well as food including soups, pizza, and pasta.
Also since Museo Botero is so close to the center, there are many activities close by including:
Is it safe in Bogotá?
At the top of everyone’s top priority when travelling is safety. And that’s something I totally understand when visiting a place like Colombia which has a bad reputation. Often times, I travelled by bus, alone in Bogotá as a solo female and no harm ever came my way. These are my tips for staying safe in Bogotá (it can work for any large city as well).
After reading about his artwork and seeing some photos above, it is clear to see why the Botero Museum is a must-see if you are in Bogotá. And of course, the added benefit that you can see artwork from other international artists as well. What do you think of Botero’s style?