A visit to the Guayasamin
museum is a must do for anyone visiting Quito, Ecuador.
This splendid house-museum exhibits an excellent array
of pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary art from the
private collection of one of Ecuador's most famous artists
- Oswaldo Guayasamin.
Osvaldo Guayasamin was born in Quito, Ecuador on 6 July
1919. Following his graduation from the Fine Art's Quito
School (where he graduated as both a painter and sculptor),
Oswaldo Guayasamin first exhibited his work at the tender
of age of 23 (1942). What followed was a career in which
he won all of the national awards available in Ecuador;
as well as the Grand Award of Spain and the Grand Award
of the Biennial of Sao Paulo. Osvaldo Guayasamin died
on 10 March 1999 - at the age of 79.
Shortly before his death, Oswaldo Guayasamin donated
all of his private collection to the city of his birth
- Quito. Today this once private collection is housed
in the museum named after him - the Guayasamin Museum.
Although considered an expressionist, the humanitarian
in Osvaldo Guayasamin is said to be the biggest reoccurring
theme in his work and his work is said to reflect some
of the pain and misery that humanity has had to endure.
In this regard, nearly of his work denounces all the violence
and genocide that Oswaldo Guayasamin is said to have born
witness to during his life-time.
At the time of his death, Guayasamin was working on his
boldest piece, "The Chapel of Man" (Capilla del Hombre).
Today, the now completed, "The Chapel of Man" can be found
next door to the Guayasamin museum. Inside the chapel
is a collection of artwork paying tribute to pre-Columbian
man. The rectangular chapel is said to be heavily influenced
by Incan temples and is covered by a dome of copper plate,
the inside of which is covered by unconcluded murals of
the artist's. The altar of the chapel contains an eternal
flame in defense of peace and human rights.
Both the Guayasamin museum and The Chapel of Man are
open between 10:00 - 17:00; however the chapel is closed
on Monday and the Guayasamin museum is closed Saturday
Those who have taken the time to visit the Guayasamin
museum and The Chapel of Man have expressed this as being
one of their highlights during their stay in Quito. Another
reoccurring comment, from previous visitors, is the fact
that Oswaldo Guayasamin is probably one of the most under-rated
artists of the Twentieth Century.