The Museo de Arte Popular de Yucatan, has as it’s mission to strengthen the work of the great masters of the country and of the artists of the Yucatan, through study, recovery, preservation and dissemination of workshops, in addition to projects and programs aimed at children, and to support the commercialization of pieces with an excellent standard of quality. The Museum is to be a vital center where all popular artists feel included, valued and respected.
Also known as Casa Molina, the Museum is located in a beautiful residence from the early 20th century, at the corner of Calle 57 and 59, to one side of the Mejorada Plaza, in the city of Merida. The house was built in 1900 for Carmela Molina, as a gift from her father Olegario Molina Solis, on the occasion of her marriage. Don Olegario, a wealthy henequen merchant, was governor of Yucatan, and in 1906, Minister of Development in the government of Porfirio Díaz.
The project was done by Italian architect Enrico Deserti, and the work was undertaken by the engineer Manuel G. Canton Ramos, who was in high demand in those years to build residences, like that of General Canton, or of the Camara Zavala brothers, both located on Montejo Drive.
On the ground floor of the two-story house are the offices of the owner and the service units. The upper floor is reached by an elegant staircase of Carrara marble. Looking out towards the Mejorada Plaza is the lounge and library. The bedrooms are distributed along the corridor, and at the back, the luxurious dining room, kitchen and laundry room are located.
In 1924 with the marriage of his daughter, Mr. Manuel Zapata Martinez, a wealthy merchant, purchased the mansion as a wedding gift. Upon the death of its owners, the residence was then purchased and restored to become the Museum of Popular Art of the Yucatan.
The collection shown here is very rich and varied. The core part of the collection came from the former Museum of Maya People of the National Indigenous Institute, which closed its doors in 1995. The other pieces that where exhibited remained in the custody of the Cultural Institute of the State of Yucatan.
The Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 6:30, and on Sundays from 9:00 to 2:00. There is a small admission fee. Public services include guided tours and school groups.
(Source: Official brochure of the Museo de Arte Popular de Yucatán)