Permanent exhibition of the Museum of America

permanent exhibition

in short

The Museo de América was founded in 1941. The Museum's oldest collections belonged to the Royal Cabinet of History. In 1868, these collections were handed over to the newly founded National Museum of Archaeology as part of its Ethnography collections. The Museum has formed collections that include some outstanding Pre-Hispanic objects from throughout the Americas. Since Its establishment in 1941, the Museum has also formed an impressive collection of colonial art.
Detalle Códice Tro-Cortesiano (Cultura Maya)
© Ministerio de Cultura

Visitor entrance

Museo de América
Avenida Reyes Católicos, 6
28040 Madrid

Detailed information about the museum on

Museo de América

in detail

The Museum brings together extensive collections from the varied cultures of the American continent: The exhibitions encourage the visitor to admire impressive objects, while appreciating the American peoples' unique abilities to develop distinct ways of life and represent their cultures symbolically, often characterized by mestizo elements. The Museum preserves Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, and Ethnographic collections. Some of the more significant items include the Treasure of the Quimbayas; the mantle of a Peruvian mummy, dating back two millennia; the Tudela (Aztec) and Trocortesian (Maya) codices; a series of mestizo paintings; Inca artwork; Indigenous artefacts collected from the Northwest coast of the United States and Canada in the 18th century; plumería, or "feather art"; panels of oil paintings with inlaid mother-of-pearl; and colonial screens and silverware.

The exhibition was dividing in 5 rooms:

Room 1- Instruments of Knowledge
The area Instruments of knowledge of America begins the visit, showing the visitor the historical sources of the image of America as it was forged over the centuries, with information based on both the observation of the reality as well as fabulation. These objects were sent back to Spain and the images produced by European artists, became the models that persist to the present day, in many cases far removed from reality.

Room 2- The reality of America
The area Reality of America continues the visit through a route that follows the successive population of the continents and the cultural development pole-to-pole, using a selection of impressive pieces that represent a significant number of the various cultures that succeeded each other over thousands of years.

Room 3- Egalitarian Societies: Bands and Tribes - Complex Societies: Chiefdoms and States
The inhabitants of the American continent formed societies which enabled them to manage their basic survival and later, these societies attained considerable complexity. The Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms and States are described through objects related to the economy and the social, political and religious models on which the society were based.

Room 4- Religion
Each of societies established their own formulae for their relationships with the supernatural: The area devoted to religion offers a glimpse into the different forms of dialogue established with the Divine, exhibiting objects used as offerings or that formed part of the different rituals.

Room 5- Communication
The visit ends with a room displaying items that offer an analysis of the communication systems where colour, pictographs, glyphic and syllabic writing, music, dance and iconographic symbols were employed. The spoken language is represented through a subtitled audiovisual presentation in which different personalities of Ibero-American literature comment on the significance of Castilian Spanish and members of indigenous communities narrate fragments of their myths of creation in their own languages.


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Opening Times

10:00 - 15:00
09:30 - 20:30
09:30 - 20:30
09:30 - 20:30
09:30 - 20:30
09:30 - 20:30
Closed on Mondays, Jan. 1, May 1, Dec. 24,25 and 31 and bank holidays.

Summer (May - October): Tue - Sat from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, Sundays 10 am to 3 pm.

Winter (November - April): Tue - Sat from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm. - The exhibition portal for Europe