The Museum Reinvents Itself

On July 24, 2015, the Museo de Arte de Ponce presented its reinstallation project, which began in November 2014. The rooms on the second floor opened to the public after being closed for almost two months, during which the Museum staff was dedicated to conditioning them and installing again more than one hundred works paintings and sculptures.

The new museum seeks to better integrate the Museum’s collection, one of the most outstanding in its kind on this side of the Atlantic, with the magnificent building of the architect Edward Durell Stone built in 1965, unique in Puerto Rico for having received the prestigious distinction of the American Institute of Architects. The works are distributed throughout the building according to a chronological criterion, starting with contemporary art in the space through which visitors enter the Museum. In this way, the experience of going inside the rooms is like going back in time. Anyone can get an idea of the age of the pieces they are seeing, without requiring knowledge of art or history. Now, the two floors of the Museum are unified with this same scheme; the lower level ranges from contemporary art to the early nineteenth century, while the second floor shows art from the eighteenth to fifteenth centuries.

Another objective of this reinstallation has been to make more efficient use of gallery space, so that more works can be displayed permanently and less stored in the Museum’s warehouses. The number of works permanently exhibited is almost twice as many as there was before making this change in the distribution of the Museum, which also serves an aesthetic purpose. The spaciousness of the hexagonal rooms on the second floor, with ceilings 16 feet high, allows the paintings to be placed on several levels, similar to how they would be hung in the halls and galleries in which these works were located before arriving in Puerto Rico. People visiting the Museum will find some sculptures and paintings that had not been exhibited for some time, such as the disturbing Roman Charity, a work of excellent quality whose author remains unknown to specialists.