When we talk about museums and houses of culture in Chile, the offer is wide, varied and at the same time, in permanent expansion. Little more than one month ago in Santiago, a space was opened that is dedicated to the life and work of Violeta Parra, one of the figures that arouses the greatest affection and respect by the Chilean. Installed right in the heart of the capital, a few steps from the Plaza Baquedano, the Violeta Parra Museum has already had more than 22 thousand visits.
The chosen date for the inauguration was October 4, celebrating the birth of the artist. Since then and until the end of the year the entrance has been free, giving an initial boost to this long-awaited project, both by the Violeta Parra Foundation and the public. Singer-songwriter Manuel García, member of the Foundation’s board of directors, said that “people were waiting for years to be closer to Violeta, and is reflected in this extraordinary number of visits”.
The building that houses the Museum is the work of architect Cristián Undurraga,responsible for the La Moneda Cultural Center and Chile’s Pavillion at the recent Expo Milan, among others: “we wanted the facade, that which is more visible from the street, to say something about the sense of the Museum. That is why we proposed those tissues of Wicker for the inside of the glass. Wicker gives account of the artisan and the popular”, told the architect to Radio Universidad de Chile. Its two floors are divided into two exhibition halls (“A lo humano” and “A lo divino”), an auditorium for 100 people, a shop and a cafeteria called Run Run.
The Museum gathers much of Parra’s visual work, a sample which until then had been preserved by the Foundation, and which was restored to be exhibited. The pictures are the same ones that were exposed -for the first time by a Latin American woman – at the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1964. They are joined by works of paper mache, objects like the guitarron and her sewing machine, in addition to the burlap collection which includes the unexhibited “Against the war” (1963), which had been hanging, until now, in Ángel Parra’s home, her son.
With only few weeks of display, the Violeta Parra Museum is an obligatory stop in the cultural circuit of Santiago. One of the project’s purposes is to increase the exhibiting catalogue through the donation of pieces, pursuing the idea that this is a lively and dynamic place just as Violeta herself.
This post is also available in Spanish