Two Museums in Bogotá

By Rob Packer

Bogotá’s Museo del Oro (Museum of Gold) is one of the biggest in the country and although the name is deceptive—there is a fair amount that isn’t gold—it gives a very thorough, if poorly explained, rundown of Colombia’s pre-Columbian cultures. Rather than trying to explain, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.

The balsa muisca, the Muisca raft, one of the museum's most famous exhibits.

These (tiny) figures reminded of Fritz Lang's masterpiece, Metropolis.

The other museum I’ve visited in Bogotá is the Botero Museum, which is a showcase of Colombia’s most famous artist, Fernando Botero. Just like the Museo del Oro, this museum is run—rather strangely—as a subsidiary of the Banco de la República, Colombia’s central bank. The overwhelming feeling you have while looking around the museum is that nothing’s thin in there: his “proportional exaggeration” (podginess) extends beyond the body. Until I’d seen his still-lifes, I never knew that fruit could be fat. The reason for it is beyond even the artist: “An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.”

After rooms of proportionally exaggerated men and women, I couldn't work out it this was a podgy hand.

There was something beautiful about this very curvy Leda and Zeus.

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