Exceptional Works at Ponce Museum of Art
Also known as the ‘Museo de Arte de Ponce’, the Ponce Museum of Art is an extraordinary art museum. Located at 2325 Las Américas Avenue, the museum covers various artistic fields over a period of five centuries. Most of the art is western and there are currently well over 850 paintings, 800 sculptures and 500 prints on display in the museum – altogether there are more than 3000 pieces in the museum. The museum is well noted as being one of the largest and most renowned museums, not only in Puerto Rico, but in the entire Caribbean. Even the building in which it is housed is a visual treat. It was designed by Edward Durrel Stone and has roughly fourteen galleries in which the art is displayed.
The Ponce Art Museum was inaugurated in 1965 after being founded by Luis A. Ferré. Ferré actually started his museum project in 1956 when he traveled to Europe. There he bought a number of masterpieces that inspired him to make further purchases – notably a collection of 71 paintings which he purchased at an auction in New York. Just three years later he decided to open a small art museum in Ponce. The small house in Cristina Street was a perfect choice for his still relatively small collection and the museum was well-received by the public. However Ferré had a vision and he saw fit to pursue it until it became a reality. A few years later he purchased a section of land in Las Americas Avenue where he would eventually build his dream gallery. He hired Edward Durrel Stone to design the beautiful museum. Stone’s design features hexagonally shaped galleries that allow natural light to illuminate the art inside. While the concept was given shape by Stone, it was Ferré who came up with the idea. When the building was completed it had 14 galleries, two gardens and even an amphitheater. Currently the museum is undergoing a renovation and expansion project that should ultimately increase the size of the building.
You will find that the Ponce Museum of Art features Italian Baroque, Spanish Golden Age, British Pre-Raphaelite and contemporary Latin-American artworks. Most of the artwork was created between the 14th and 20th centuries and the museum frequently holds exhibitions of art done by the world’s greatest artists. Many of Ferré’s initial pieces have been replaced by more notable artworks, although some of his original purchases can still be found in the museum. The ‘Flaming June’ by Frederic Leighton’ is seen as the crowning glory of the museum and it was also Ferré’s favorite. There is an admission fee to pay if you wish to visit the museum but this small and definitely worthwhile.