The unique museum was conceived and created by muralist Diego Rivera, who, motivated by his own interest in Mexican culture, collected near 60,000 pre-Hispanic pieces during his life and projected a building to place and exhibit them. It was completed after his death by architects Juan O'Gorman and Heriberto Pagelson and Rivera's own daughter, Ruth. Built of black volcanic stone, it takes the form of a pyramid. The museum articles are collected from almost every indigenous civilisation in Mexico's history.
The word Anahuacalli literally means "house around of water" in Nahuatl.
The building forms a teocalli with means “house of energy”, its design notably influenced by the Teotihuacan culture as can be appreciated in the building’s boards, recreating the image of the rain god Tlaloc. It also shows Mayan and Aztec influences, as can be appreciated in the hexagonal (Mayan) and rectangular (Aztec) arcs that give access to the different showrooms.
There are funerary urns, masks and sculptures from the ancient culture of Teotihuacan and a smaller gallery next to the pyramid contains an exhibition of papier mache sculpture relating to the Days of the Dead, celebrated from October 31 to November 2.
- Anahuacalli official website
- Photo Tour of the Anahuacalli Museum, May 2007
- Virtual Tour 360° of the Anahuacalli Museum, 2009
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