The only city in the entire world that has more museums than Mexico City is London. People don’t give CDMX enough credit for how much culture and history it has to offer to travelers. In this post, I will cover where you can see Diego Rivera’s work in Mexico City. I don’t think most people realize his murals are all over the city and you don’t necessarily need to pay to see. This is also a good reminder that Rivera went through other phases when creating art, like when he was friendly with Picasso and also created cubism paintings.
1. Museo Mural Diego Rivera – This is a museum of rotating works by Rivera, it changes pretty frequently. When I was there in June of 2016 they had a single mural on display, most recently they have a larger exhibit on monstrosity in art. It’s a pretty small museum and across the park from Bellas Artes so it’s not a huge hassle to check out.
2. Museo Dolores Olmedo – Located in the Xochimilco district in the southern part of the city, the museum used to be the home of Dolores Olmedo. She was a patron and friend to Diego Rivera. You read more about my experience at this museum here: Xochimilco and Museo Dolores Olmedo – CDMX.
3. Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso – This is a funky little museum but it houses one of the earliest murals Rivera ever created. It’s close to the Zocalo so it’s not out of the way to visit. The mural is in the theatre so make sure that section of the museum is open before visiting, I went on a Tuesday and it was closed.
4. Secretaria de Educacion Publica – For a truly unique experience visit this public building. It is completely free to visit and most people have no idea it even exists. It is 3 floors worth of Rivera murals so don’t miss it. The works are incredible and chances are you will be the only travelers there. Keep in mind it is a government office building so be respectful.
5. Palacio Nacional – Another free government building to visit, because it is an important site and it’s position in the Zocalo you will be in a sea of other travelers and tourists. It’s still worth a visit even though it is crowded. Don’t forget you passport or ID as you will need it to get in.
6. Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera – You won’t find much of Rivera’s art here but it does give you a look into his home and studio. It’s in the slightly obscure area of San Angel, people mostly go there for the Saturday Bazaar at Plaza San Jacinto. It was still great fun to see the space.
7. Palacio de Bellas Artes – The great thing about Bellas Artes is that they have both a permanent mural always on display (seen above) along side rotating exhibitions. The exhibition I saw was all about the Mexican Revolution in the 1910’s and had some cubism Rivera work.
8. Museo Frida Kahlo – Funnily enough, you can find some more cubism work by Rivera at the home of Frida Kahlo, whom he was married to.
9. Cárcamo de Dolores – I was sad to have missed this experience in Chapultepec park since it was on the “other side” of the park away from some of the main attractions. This piece by Rivera is of a giant sculpture of Tlaloc, the god of rain.
Honorable Mention: Diego Rivera was an avid collector of pre-Hispanic artifacts and while he was alive he started construction to house these items in the Museo Anahuacalli. I don’t think any of his own art is there but it’s a great museum to visit.