Casa Lis

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The Casa Lis is a museum located in the ancient city wall of Salamanca, Spain. Also known as Museo Art Nouveau and Art Déco, it is a museum of decorative arts, with exhibits dating from the last decades of the 19th century to World War II.


The Museum is an old mansion that was built for its first owner, Miguel de Lis, by Joaquin de Vargas y Aguirre, a provincial architect from Jerez de la Frontera. Don Miguel de Lis was the owner of a tannery which he had inherited from his father. The thriving business gave him a privileged economic position and he was well-travelled; he chose a modernist design.[1]

The mansion changed ownership in 1917, when D. Enrique Esperabé de Arteaga, rector of the University of Salamanca, moved there with his family. Subsequently, the Casa Lis was inhabited by various tenants until in the 1970s, closed and unused, and fell into decay. In 1981, the city of Salamanca was able to save it from ruin.


Vargas planned the house around an interior courtyard that serves to distribute the rooms and designed a facade built with iron and glass following the precepts of industrial architecture. To save the existing slope until reaching the road, they adopted garden terraces and a grotto indoor rockery that lightens the whole. The result is one of the few examples of industrial architecture used for residential use. The North facade of the house is one of the few examples of modernist architecture in Salamanca.

The gateway is built in stone and brick. Inside, the House had rooms for summer and winter, the first on the ground floor and the second, in the main. An office, canteen, oratory, bathrooms, lounges and greenhouse were included. Electric light was provided in the original. The decoration was modernist with stained glass windows in the courtyard gallery, the doors and the transom of the main staircase.


The building is the headquarters of the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Déco. Their classrooms and dependencies display a portion of pieces donated by Manuel Ramos Andrade, a famous antiquarian and collector.

The Museum has a permanent exhibition of decorative arts that offers a temporary tour spanning from the last decades of the 19th century until World War II.

The bulk of the works in the Museum are utilitarian objects designed under careful aesthetic criteria. This duality makes them interesting as a document of a time and a way of living.

The Museum has 19 collections that highlight fiberglass, dolls and chryselephantine and bronze.

It offers temporary exhibitions on themes and authors related to Art Nouveau and Art Déco. Successful exhibits include Dalí, Picasso, Mucha, Anglada Camarasa, the Russian Ballets of Diaghilev Gaudí and Coco Chanel. It serves as a venue for various cultural activities, such as plays, piano concerts, readings live among others.

Association of Friends of Casa Lis[edit]

The Manuel Ramos Andrade Foundation and Association of Friends of Casa Lis gave most of the money to purchase the collection of the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco Casa Lis.

The Association was established as a cultural organization of non-profit, national, environment Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco of the Casa Lis of Salamanca.

The aims of the Association are to

  • Ensure the activities and operation of the Museum Casa Lis, in the work of collection, conservation, research, documentation, dissemination and protection of the artistic heritage and cultural.
  • Keep the ties of friendship and cooperation with the governing bodies of the Museum.
  • Find and foster relationships with same or similar associations.
  • Ensure a well-functioning Museum and expand the protection and dissemination of the area's cultural heritage.
  • Organize courses, conferences, exhibitions, contests, cultural visits and other activities of a scientific or didactic.
  • Produce studies, newsletters, brochures and other publications.
  • Acquire and raise donation or deposit of objects of cultural interest, didactic or scientific utility or documentary or bibliographical value for the Museo Casa Lis.


  1. ^ "Casa Lis: a modernist symbol in a parochial period in Salamanca" (PDF). Retrieved 16 May 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°57′34″N 5°40′00″W / 40.9595°N 5.6668°W / 40.9595; -5.6668