The building of the Emilio Caraffa Museum (Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emilio Caraffa – MEC) is a fascinating mix of the ultra-modern and the ultra-classic. The original museum was opened in 1916 in the classical style and enlarged in 1962 for the I Art Biennale of the Americas. The glass and metal structure, which made the facilities three times as big, was added in 2007.
One may think that children would get bored with exhibitions of modern art and behave in a disruptive manner. However, I firmly believe that children should be exposed to all kinds of art so that they can form their own ideas and let their imagination run wild. Consequently, I took my nephews, aged 6 and 8, to the museum. Granted, they weren’t overly enthusiastic at the beginning –to hear them, you’d think I was taking them to the slaughterhouse- but they grew more interested as we moved along the rooms.
One of the draws for the boys was the stark, modern architecture: the concrete staircases, the glass boxes jutting out over the street and the big glass tunnel-like structure, which they could explore at will.
We saw the tribute to renowned cartoonist Crist; then the works of a young local artist, Marcos Acosta, who uses satellite imagery as the basis for his paintings and the watercolours of Tomás Espina, to name a few artists and their work.
However, the art installation that got our attention was the one called Haiti. A trestle table in the middle of the room contained books, magazines, newspapers and all kinds of printed matter covered in black paint. I caught the boys looking intently at the table, trying to figure out the whys and the wherefores. My favourite photo of them is one I took while they were trying to grasp the meaning of the rows upon rows of deformed iron masks sitting on shelves. You don’t need to see their faces to imagine what they were thinking.
“Can we go to another museum now?” they asked as we were leaving. I smiled. I didn’t see it coming.
Practical info on the Emilio Caraffa Museum
Avenida Poeta Lugones 411, Córdoba
Open year round except Mondays, January 1, May 1, November 11 and December 25.
Tuesdays to Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 8 pm. Summer hours (January): 10 am to 1 pm and 6pm to 9pm.
Flash photography is not allowed, as is taking close-ups of the works of art.
Public transport: any bus to Plaza España