This museum dedicated to the decorative arts proposes you a journey through the different decorative styles, has a valuable collection of sculptures, paintings, tapestries, weapons, books, ceramics and furniture, especially European and oriental, from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
This museum is located in the building formerly known as the Errázuriz Palace, an incredible French-style mansion, built in 1911 by one of the families of Argentine high society, the Errázuriz-Alvear. As was customary at the time, most of its materials were brought directly from the old continent, as well as artisans for completion.
Each hall of the palace was designed with a special style, to the taste of each of the members of the family, from the most modern to the most classic and that is why its great heritage value.
Due to the global economic crisis, the price of commodities and raw materials exported from the fields by this family collapsed. And this is why the Errázuriz-Alvear family resided in the building for only twenty years, since in 1937 the mansion as all its mobilized were ceded to the national state for the creation of a museum.
In addition to the National Museum of Decorative Art, this palace houses the Argentine Academy of Letters, the National Academy of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of Oriental Art.
This entire museum recreates the most significant styles of decorative art and European decoration of the 18th and 19th centuries. For example, there is a small room decorated in early Art Deco style by the Catalan artist José María Sert, being the only one in the house with 20th-century decoration. The residence also has an imposing French-style garden that functions as an extension of the reception halls. The central axis of the composition is the Swan Fountain, surrounded by cut boxwood beds that evoke designs from the Palace of Versailles.
The Museum’s collection exceeds 6000 objects, ranging from period furniture, paintings, elaborate carpets and tapestries, as well as Roman sculptures and handmade creations of contemporary silverware. The majority of which belong directly to the Errázuriz Alvear family, which gives us an idea of the luxury in which we lived at that time.
On the second floor of the Errázuriz Palace, three rooms are destined for the small National Museum of Oriental Art that feeds its collection of the different donations given to Argentina by individuals and embassies from different countries in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Here we will see beautiful objects such as enameled ceramic figurines from Egypt, 17th-century portable altars from Japan, Tibet prayer rugs, Chinese jade and ivory carvings, Indian screenprints, and carved wood fans and Japanese calligraphy works and contemporary Koreans, among others. The entrance to the museum like its older brother, the Decorative Art, is completely free and even shares the same schedules.