Museum of Decorative Art – Its all about the family that once lived here

its a hard to believe that this was once a family home and that’s what makes this museum so fascinating. This glorious mansion was once owned  by the aristocratic family Errazuriz-Alavear. Each of fthe many room remains much as they would have been back in the day with an eclectic mixture of styles from medieval to art nouveu. .Josefina de Alvear and Chilean diplomat Matías Errázuriz Ortúzar came from high society.

Both the  Errázuriz and Alvear came from high society. The Errázuri family originally from Chile, can boast people of great influence that would have played a huge role in the country, among them a President.  The Alvaer family were no less illustrious and Josefina’s grandfather Brigadier General Carlos María de Alvear was an active participant in Argentina’s struggle for independence in 1816. Matias was a Chilean diplomat at the time of their wedding in the cathedral of Beunos Aires in 1897. Their children named after their parents were born in Buenos Aires.  In 1906 the couple moved to France, where Matias took up a diplomatic mission until 1916. They spent those years in France planning and building the mansion in Buenos Aires that would later become their home. The French architect René Sergent designed the property in the French style which was very popular in Buenos Aires and to this day can be seen in much of the architecture in the city,  Having a love of art and antiques they also acquired a large and valuable collection which today is housed in the museum and takes up a large part of the display. The house was finally ready in 1918 and a big housewarming party was thrown. It would become a center of the capital’s social scene for many years to come. Sadly Josefina died in 1935 and Matias offered the State of Argentina the possibility of buying not only the property but the extensive art collection. The only condition was that the property would be used as a museum which is how in 1937 it became the National Museum of Decorative Art. A walk round the museum will take you through the grand entrance hall, the ballroom, the beautiful dining room which once hosted magnificent dinners and the family’s private rooms. The bathroom was awesome.

You will beautiful pieces everywhere.including a Manet and an El Greco. I was particularly impressed with the extensive collection of miniatures.

You can find the museum at 1902 Libertad street in the Recoleta area of Buenos Aires and the best part is that the entrance is free. 

Tinyteddys feedback: “I had the fright of my life when i got thrust on top of the dragon. I had to lie down on Matias’s lovely bed for a few minutes to recover.. Seriously! .