Another find in the search of free Chicago museums- the National Museum of Mexican Art, right off of the 18th St stop of the CTA Pink Line!
Located in the Pilsen neighborhood, the National Museum of Mexican Art is the first Latin museum to be accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is filled with over 7,000 pieces. Admission is free every day, and the museum hosts free tours and events year-round.
When I walked into this beautiful building, the atmosphere was breathtaking. Pieces from early Mexican history, all the way to the present are hung in their four vibrant galleries. And not only paintings are exhibited, but everything from folk art, sculptures and wood carvings, clothing and jewelry, musical instruments, traditional holiday and parade masks and wear, photographs and textiles fill this museum with vivid color.
In my search for free Chicago museums, I look for:
Interesting Exhibits: The exhibits in the National Museum of Mexican Art are not only beautiful, but historically rich. The Aztec roots of the Mexican nation speak loud in their art. Their fascination with the pagan and tribal traditions and fold-lore, mixed with the Catholic traditions and stories, brings about a unique voice and vivid perspective on life, death, family and the earth. Each piece seems to express a similar message, a message that, when pieced together, bring about a multifaceted perspective on the purpose and importance of family and celebrating every day of life here on earth. Even the dark, pain-filled pieces have a distinctive light- speaking true to the vibrant hope that is the Mexican people.
Accessible Location: The National Museum of Mexican Art is just steps away from the 18th street stop of the Pink Line, a station known from it's vivid murals by local artists. Take a look at the many stories depicted on these walls, in bright color and detail, and the Aztec/Mexican symbols and patterns decorating each step.
Beautiful, Well-kept Pieces: The condition of each piece is perfect, and well-maintained. The building is beautiful and clean of vandal or deterioration.
Family Friendly: Although there are a few paintings that contain partial nudity, and some others that are dark in nature, I think that this museum is definitely family friendly. The layout is open and colorful, and the four galleries can be enjoyed fairly quickly to appease small attention spans. There are quite a few benches for seating, and water fountains and bathrooms to accommodate thirsty tummies and small bladders.