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When one thinks of Mexico, perhaps the first image to come to mind is that of a charro or mounted horseman, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, with a blanket draped over his shoulders and a cheroot pursed in the corner of his lips. The history of these horsemen and Charros, the popular equestrian sport, is the subject of this museum. Located in what was once the Convent of Monserrat, the collection includes typical costumes, harnesses, saddles, paintings, photographs and objects related to the past and present of the charreria, one of the Mexico's most symbolic traditions.
Opened in 1988, this fascinating museum exhibits the collection of the Villamayor Ballinas, a family of shoe-shop owners in the city. The thousand life-size and 15,000 miniature shoes on exhibit span several centuries, originate from different cultures and showcase a variety of styles. Porcelain, bronze and silk, are only some of the materials from which they are made; there is even a replica of a pair of boots worn by an astronaut from the Apollo II space flight.
The acronym OMR is for founders Patricia Ortiz Monasterio and Jaime Riestra who opened this gallery for new and contemporary art. With eight exhibits annually and 10 years of participating in international art fairs such as Madrid's Arco, United States' Art Chicago, Berlin's Art Forum and Paris' FIAC, they are proven art merchants. The gallery represents a wide spectrum of renowned painters, sculptors and photographers while promoting young talent. Housed in an early 20th century mansion in the heart of Colonia Roma, OMR is the exclusive agent for the work of Adolfo Riestra (1944-1989) and Luis Ortiz Monasterio (1906-1990).
This recent addition to the local museum scene has an important collection by the world-renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Copies of his famous works, such as The Kiss and The Thinker, can be found in an art exhibition unique in Latin America. Other nineteenth and twentieth century artists represented include Camille Claudel, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and Honoré Daumier. There is also a display of objects from the Mexican colonial period, including ironwork, folding screens, quilts and examples of what are known as caste paintings, as well as an important collection of 18th and 19th century Mexican portraits. You can enjoy works by Juan Cordero, Hermenegildo Bustos and Miguel Cabrera who founded the Academy of Painting in 1753. The museum has its own shop, and is situated within the Plaza Loreto Shopping Center.
Located between the two main arteries of the city (the ring-road and the Avenida de los Insurgentes), are these remains of the Cuicuilco culture, now converted into an on-site museum. This was considered to be one of the most important societies of ancient Mexico, thanks to the geographic and cultural development achieved by its people. The site includes a round pyramid of more than 23 meters (75 feet) in height, with what is left of an altar on its summit. Visitors can also see the remnants of irrigation canals, a technological leap for the societies at that time, but are advised to first tour the exhibition gallery to fully appreciate and understand the significance of the main exhibits. A visit to this museum also offers a few botanical surprises, with species of native flora to the Pedregal de San Ángel sector of the Mexican capital.