Museums in Santiago

Artwork of Chilean songwriter Violeta Parra on display

Explore the artist’s paintings, papier-mâché pieces, and embroidered canvases at the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda through March, 2013.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 Category: Tourism - Culture
Parra’s unique artwork is on display at Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda. Photo via Centro Cultural Parra’s unique artwork is on display at Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda. Photo via Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda / Facebook.

The oil paintings, papier-mâché pieces, and embroidered canvases of renowned Chilean artist and folklorist Violeta Parra are currently on display at the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda exhibit Violeta, viaje al interior (Violeta, inward journey). Violeta, viaje al interior features interactive touch screens and audio elements that play Violeta’s songs, creating an inviting space to connect with the artist’s work and identity.


Violeta was a legendary Chilean singer-songwriter famous for the renewal and reinvention of Chilean folk music in the 1950s. This new genre, known as Nueva Canción Chilena (Chilean New Song), enjoyed extended influence far beyond Chile. Her most famous song, Gracias por la Vida (Thanks to Life) was popularized throughout Latin America by Mercedes Sosa and later in the U.S. by Joan Baez, and remains one of the most covered Latin American songs in history.


Violeta was born in San Carlos, a small town in southern Chile, in 1917. While best known for her music, she was also an artist, and Violeta, viaje al interior is an intimate look at her personal identity. The work follows Violeta’s childhood and migration to Santiago, and culminates dramatically after the death of her young daughter Rosita Clara.


Violeta's testimonials are also expressed in the exhibition through her décimas - a style of poetry prevalent in peasant communities, which consists of four stanzas of ten lines each. Violeta’s décimas complement her works of art by recounting her family history, folk tradition, exploration, and trips abroad.


When and where


Violeta, viaje al interior is on display now through March of 2013 at Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda. The exhibit is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is free before 12 p.m. and costs US$4.20 (CLP 2.000) all other hours.

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