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Mexico: Robert Brady Museum

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Robert Brady Museum | Mexico | Americas

[Visited: August 2018]

Robert Brady was a wealthy American who lived in Cuermavaca for 24 years, and traveled the world to collect all kinds of works of art and take them home. His mansion has turned into a museum four years after his death, in 1990. It is located on the perimeter of the cathedral grounds, in the Casa de la Torre. I pay my entrance fee, leave my bag behind, and walk up the stairs. I arrive at a peaceful courtyard, with trees and flowers, a statue of a saint in a wooden window. Above me, the tower after which the building is named. I enter the mansion on the left, where I find a first room with arches, and sculptures and paintings hanging on all walls, on and above the arches: I need some time to take in all the various works of art that are presented here.

Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Josephine Baker bedroom, one of the simplest rooms in the museum

It is directly obvious that Mr. Brady had a varied taste. Some of the sculptures are simple and genuine, and appear low-profile, while others are very colourful, glittery, over-the-top. The rooms all have plastified cards on which you can find the origin of all the objects, and it immediately shows that the former inhabitant of this house must have traveled a lot to get this collection together. I cannot help but wonder how he managed to get all these objects home. I walk into a bathroom with yellow tiles, and a statue of Mary with child, and proceed one room further. The bombardment of curious objects continues: from all kinds of different places, and all kinds of works: paintings, textiles, sculptures, vases, carvings, masks, and other things. For example, there is a curious row of crucifixes above an arch in the building. Back in the yellow bathroom, I talk to one of the cleaners, who is meticulously taking dust off sculptures, and ask him about the risks of his job. He confirms that, sometimes, he by accident drops an item, and I can only imagine that: the museum has well over a thousand objects on display.

Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): One of the bathrooms in the museum

After walking across a pleasant garden with a swimming pool, I come to an open room, choke-full of more artefacts, mostly masks. Some of them depict the devil, some of them look pretty awe-inspiring, some make me laugh. Many regions of Africa, Central America, Asia and Oceania are hanging and standing next to each other in a great example of peaceful co-existence. In this building, I find a spacious kitchen, a yellow and a red bedroom, made for his friend Josephine Baker, the French-American actor and civil rights activist, who is present in the shape of a statuette in which she wears a bunch of bananas around her waist. Here, I also find paintings of famous Mexican artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as well as paintings made by Robert Brady himself. I retrace my steps, look at the collection once again, and seeing all these objects from far away, many memories of my own travels come back. I try to guess the origins of the masks, of the carvings, of the textiles. When my head is spinning from what I have seen in the museum. I enjoy the sun in the courtyard, look around the pretty walls, partly covered by climbers. It is easy to imagine how Mr. Brady spent 24 years of his life in this very pleasant mansion.

Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Open room with walls full of sculptures and other artefacts from around the world
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): One of the corridors in the museum - full of paintings
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Sculpture of Josephine Baker in the museum
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Corner of the courtyard of the museum
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Sculpture of a woman
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): One part of the kitchen
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): The heavily decorated kitchen in the museum
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Mirror with decorations above a toilet in the museum
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Close-up of collection of masks from all over the world
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): All kinds of artefacts from all around the world in one of the bedrooms
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Sculptures and statues from all over the world in an open room in the museum
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Collection of crucified Jesuses over an arch in one of the rooms
Picture of Robert Brady Museum (Mexico): Yellow room with all kinds of paintings and artefacts

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