The Museo de Artes y Costumbres is a fine Seville museum where you can get to know more about Spanish traditions and life in Spain. It displays anthropological and ethnographic collections, such as ancient craftsmanship, agricultural production and furniture.
Check the Museo de Artes y Costumbres website for more information on opening hours and entrance fares.
4 keys to the Museo de Artes y Costumbres in Seville
The museum displays a collection of traditional clothing and decorative arts representing the culture of Andalucía and the everyday life.
- This is a nice museum which does not take too much time to visit that highlights the style, heritage, and the craft of Seville.
- The collection of Andalusian Popular Ceramics that the museum has is one of the most complete existing in Europe, along with the one exhibited in the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe of Hamburg.
- There is also a great collection of posters of the Feria de Abril (Seville’s Spring Fair) from the early 20th century.
- Take your time to admire the amazing architecture of the building itself. It’s like a travel back in time…
A little bit of history
The building occupied by the museum is known as the Pabellón Mudéjar and it was built between 1913 and 1915. The Mudéjar style is an architectural mixture of elements from the Muslim and Christian cultures very popular during the Middle Age (12th to 15th centuries) and present in many regions of Spain and buildings in Seville (e.g. the Alcázar of Seville and the Casa de Pilatos).
It was also a permanent pavilion for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition, known as the “Pabellón de Arte Antiguo e Industrias Artísticas” (Ancient Art Pavillion and Artistic Industries).
The Museo de Artes y Costumbres was inaugurated in 1973. Unfortunately, the building was in such bad conditions that it was closed for restoration in 1979. After 5 years of works, the premises were opened again in 1984.
The Maria Luisa Park is where both the Museo Arqueológico and the Museo de Artes y Costumbres are located. The park is Seville’s largest green extension and it’s the perfect surrounding for such beautiful constructions. The 2 museums can be found at the Plaza de America (America Square) and they were built along with the Plaza de España for the 1929 Exposition.
What to expect from the Museo de Artes y Costumbres
The Museo de Artes y Costumbres was designed to display the customs and the way of life of the elements displayed. As such, you don’t just see the objects displayed, but the museum aims to “bring them to life” so that they speak for themselves.
It was created to show the particularities of the culture of the area, both in terms of objects and utensils and the practices in which they are used. That is why its rooms gather a compendium of knowledge, customs and ways of life typical of Seville, while highlighting the modification that these had over time.
The museum is presented as a space for the defense of cultural plurality and takes advantage of ethnographic and anthropological resources to promote a vision of respect for identity in diversity.
Among the museum’s most notable collections, you can see beautiful ceramics, traditional dresses, incredible jewellery and gold work, popular musical instruments, lace and embroidery and objects as special as posters for festivities, collections of games and postcards.
Masterpieces not to miss
Most of the collections of the Museo de Artes y Costumbres are the result of years gathering common objects used in the ordinary life. The main purpose of the museums is to show you how people lived in Spain centuries ago. Among the many things that you can see, here is a list of the most interesting ones.
- A pink dress, a very good example of the 1880s clothing.
- A white satin chasuble all decorated with embroidery application to highlight achieved by several layers of wool and linen taffeta, using polychrome silks and gold threads.
- A Spanish guitar dating from 1788 made of noble woods and inlaid with palo santo (Bursera graveolens) and mother-of-pearl.
- The laces room has a wide variety of genuine laces (e.g. bobbin laces), an incredibly difficult craft.
- The furniture of the Casa La Francesa, where the Díaz Velázquez family established both the business (first floor) and the home (second floor). The building was located in the Porvenir neighborhood, specifically on the corner of Calle Brasil and Calle Río de la Plata.