Retablo heaven and Huichol art:
An extensive collection of 19th century retablos, a popular form of devotional art. These are small and were usually found in private residences. Unstable times (Reform laws of 1810, for example) and acts of repression against religious authorities contributed to the need for people to worship at home, and to hide (at times) their devotional decorations.
Aside from the naive, popular quality of the retablos, I was impressed by the iconography. There are so many variations in representations of saints or the Holy Family that I wondered how people read them correctly, how folks today remember them all -- or keep them straight.
Example: Christ -- there is a section devoted to his image as a child, to his baptism, another in which scenes focus on events relating to the Passion (Christ being whipped, Ecce Home, the Stations of the Cross, The Divine Face etc), Christ crucified, the blood of Christ, teh Sacred Heart of Christ, the Holy Trinity etc, etc.
Now, this type of religious imagery might bore some people to tears, but students of Art History, or people who like to simply decipher cultural symbols, will find the museum a gem. I also had the good fortune of being there on a day with few visitors - so I had a personal guide walk around with me and answer questions, explain iconographical aspects, lives of saints etc.
I had to go back a 2nd time (after a coffee break) to see the other section of the museum which is textile art of the Huichil people. Their geometric patterns and symbols were a nice change from the retablos, and the artifacts on sale within the museum were terrific bead-work pieces. Check them out!
Días de servicio: De miércoles a lunes. (Cierra los martes)
Horario: De 10:00 a 16:30 hrs.
Entrada General: $12.00