ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The former Santo Tomás de Villanueva Hospice is an iconic building in Mexico City’s Historic Centre that hosts the Kaluz Museum. With a privileged location, on the corner of Reforma and Hidalgo avenues, the Kaluz Museum is the doorway to downtown Mexico City and the Guerrero neighbourhood. The Museum offers an exhibition program that explores a multiplicity of themes, with each one establishing dialogues between different moments and contexts, conveying historic and social reflections. The basis for these exhibitions is the dialogue between the works that comprise our Mexican art collection, which spans from the 18th to the 20th century. The Museum’s curatorial program is the core around which all of our activities revolve around, thus we are constantly seeking to integrate conferences, tours, culinary experiences and mediation activities focused on each exhibition’s main themes.
The Kaluz Collection is the result of one collector’s efforts, Antonio del Valle Ruiz, who has intended to share it and socialize it with three objectives: contribute to the rediscovery and preservation of Mexico’s artistic heritage; detonate the study and dissemination of its works and creators; and strengthen a feeling of identity through expressions that relate to our country’s reality and its artistic imagery.
The collection has always remained true to the collector’s taste for Mexican figurative painting, who has proceeded to freely collect works of different times, styles, and artistic movements. However, these expressions, through their themes, also respond to the great questions posed by figurative painters of the past and present, and thus, as a body of work, can be identified through four great genres: landscape, still life, portrait, and genre painting. In the end, these themes convey what is ours: our environment, our things, our people, and our traditions.
The Kaluz Collection seeks to provide value to the current artistic landscape from the collective – and thus representative – characteristic of its works, at the same time asserting the talent of a number of painters. These artists, at times disdained by the art market or overshadowed by the work of Mexico’s most iconic signatures, reclaim their importance in the national context through our collection. Painters such as Francisco Romano Guillemín, Armando García Núñez or Guillermo Gómez Mayorga, to mention a few, are seen in new light next to figures like Joaquín Clausell, Roberto Montenegro, or Jorge González Camarena.
In addition, all of these painters from the past maintain, in the specific realm of the Kaluz Collection, a fascinating dialogue with contemporary creators, who have progressively gained importance within the collection, establishing a connection between different moments in time in the same space with painting itself as the guiding thread. Thus, the 19th century gaze of Pietro Gualdi’s urban scenes comes together, one hundred years later, with that of Pedro Galarza, or José Castro Leñero, to mention a more contemporary example. The Kaluz Collection is an invitation to reflect on Mexico’s art history, but also about the individual stories of those who have led its historic processes: creators and their creations. It is, in short, an invitation to let the best of the human condition blossom within us through the contemplation of art.