Franz Mayer Museum

Go back to recommended museums


The Franz Mayer Museum (SpanishMuseo Franz Mayer), in Mexico City opened in 1986 to house, display and maintain Latin America’s largest collection of decorative arts. The collection was amassed by stockbroker and financial professional Franz Mayer, who collected fine artworks, books, furniture, ceramics, textiles and many other types of decorative items over fifty years of his life. A large portion comes from Europe and Asia but most comes from Mexico itself with items dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Many pieces in the collection are fine handcrafts, such as textiles and Talavera pottery, and they are important because they are items that often did not survive because most did not consider them worth preserving.

In the 1920s, Mayer began collecting Talavera pottery from Puebla, one of the first collectors to do so. In Puebla, he was considered a bit crazy for buying all of the “old stuff” from the locals. The museum opened with the largest Puebla Talavera collection in the world with 726 pieces from the 17th to the 19th centuries and some 20th-century pieces by Enrique Luis Ventosa.

One important part of the museum complex is the Rogerio Casas-Alatriste H. Library, named after the first director. It is dedicated to Mayer’s book collection most of which were bought to research pieces which Mayer had bought or was interested in. The library is in the cloister area, containing with over 14,000 volumes, which includes 800 different editions of Don Quixote and the Chronicles of Nuremberg, edited in 1493. The interior of the library is a Classical design with shelving made of cedar to protect the books. The wood floor of the library was that of the Mayer’s original house as well as the terrarium and the candelabra .

In 2004, anthropologist Ruth D. Lechuga donated her private collection of artifacts and personal items to the museum. The collection contained over 14,000 artifacts, 5,000 books and magazines and 1,000 personal effects documenting Lechuga’s life from her family’s flight from the Nazi Anschluss in her native Austria to the years dedicated to the research on Mexico’s indigenous populations.

Anthropologists Marta Turok and Margarita de Orellana are the co-executors of the collection, which has been shown in several exhibits. In 2016, the Ruth D. Lechuga Center for Popular Art Studies (SpanishCentro de Estudios de Arte Popular Ruth D. Lechuga (CEAP-RDL)) opened in the basement of the Museum.

The museum is one of the few places where European and Mexican painting is displayed together. European works date back as far as the 14th century, with those from Spain dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries. These include works by José de Ribera “El Españoleto”, Francisco de Zurbarán, and Ignacio Zuloaga. Italian art is represented by works by Lorenzo Lotto, and Alessandro Allori. Northern European painters include Jacob Grimmer and Bartholomeus Bruyn.

Mexican works are mostly from the colonial period and include pieces by Juan CorreaMiguel Cabrera, Juan and Nicolás Rodríguez Juárez and others. Almost of these are religious in nature, with a few portraits from the 18th century. Post colonial works include a landscape by José María Velasco and an early painting by Diego Rivera .Display of antique phonographs restored by Salvador Velez on display at the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City.

In the 1920s, Mayer began collecting Talavera pottery from Puebla, one of the first collectors to do so. In Puebla, he was considered a bit crazy for buying all of the “old stuff” from the locals. The museum opened with the largest Puebla Talavera collection in the world with 726 pieces from the 17th to the 19th centuries and some 20th-century pieces by Enrique Luis Ventosa.

One important part of the museum complex is the Rogerio Casas-Alatriste H. Library, named after the first director. It is dedicated to Mayer’s book collection most of which were bought to research pieces which Mayer had bought or was interested in. The library is in the cloister area, containing with over 14,000 volumes, which includes 800 different editions of Don Quixote and the Chronicles of Nuremberg, edited in 1493. The interior of the library is a Classical design with shelving made of cedar to protect the books. The wood floor of the library was that of the Mayer’s original house as well as the terrarium and the candelabra .

In 2004, anthropologist Ruth D. Lechuga donated her private collection of artifacts and personal items to the museum. The collection contained over 14,000 artifacts, 5,000 books and magazines and 1,000 personal effects documenting Lechuga’s life from her family’s flight from the Nazi Anschluss in her native Austria to the years dedicated to the research on Mexico’s indigenous populations. Anthropologists Marta Turok and Margarita de Orellana are the co-executors of the collection, which has been shown in several exhibits. In 2016, the Ruth D. Lechuga Center for Popular Art Studies (SpanishCentro de Estudios de Arte Popular Ruth D. Lechuga (CEAP-RDL)) opened in the basement of the Museum.

Becky Mawson
Becky Mawson
2019-11-07
Verified review
Beautiful space This hotel was perfect and clean with lots of thoughtful touches. The management were really helpful with suggesting things to do during our stay too. It’s a little bit out of the way but only a 30 minute Uber to the historical district so was still easy to get around.
qianis
qianis
2019-05-07
Verified review
A perfect hotel in Mexico City! This is our first time in Mexico, we booked Mex Suites Casa Azul B&B for 4 nights, we enjoyed it so much in the end we extended our staying to a week.The hotel is located at a mid class neighborhood area, where you can experience a real Mexico City rather than only the tourist part. This area is really safe, we walk on the street at night time with no worries at all. There are a couple of convenience stores just a few steps away. It takes about 20mins to Uber to the airport and 15mins to downtown.Maurice is such a great host and a wonderful person. He helped us a lot and we felt so lucky to get to know him. We came to Mexico without any plans and without knowing nothing about Mexico. Maurice helped us made our trip gradually during our stay, not just in Mexico City but also the whole country.We love taking Metrobus a lot, it is a great way to explore the city. Maurice gave us a metro card on our first day, which is super helpful.We hope we can come back to visit Maurice again in the future:)
campbells05
campbells05
2018-01-15
Verified review
Comfortable, peaceful and great host I spent 3 nights here in early December as a single female traveller. The owner Mauricio has converted his former business building into this very comfortable and peaceful oasis in Mexico City.My room on the second level was large and beautifully decorated with traditional Mexican tiles, pottery and rugs. The bed was comfortable and there was a microwave and fridge in the room. The personalised welcome note, bottle of wine and fruit were nice touches. My room was at the back away from the road (which is a reasonably quiet side street). It only had a window in the bathroom so it was a bit dark but this didn't bother me and allowed me to relax away from the chaos and noise of the city! There is a shared guest dining area for breakfast with a kitchen and also a tiny outside terrace where I enjoyed sharing my wine with a fellow sole female traveller.Mauricio is a thoughtful host who shared interesting insights into Mexico and its history. He is a former chemical engineer who studied in the USA and is now developing an eco-tourism experience in Belize. He has a wide range of interests and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him. He was very helpful in providing suggestions for what to see, advice about safety and transport options, and can also organise a private driver for a tour to Teotihuacan at a reasonable cost.I felt very safe staying here and highly recommend this place for sole female travellers and first time visitors to Mexico. It is about 30-40 minutes from the airport and Mauricio gives useful instructions for where to catch an Uber (which is safe and a bit cheaper than taxis).
Cartelita V
Cartelita V
2017-08-04
Verified review
Superbe Un petit coin de paradis au cœur de Mexico... Un très bel accueil, des conseils avisés de la part de Mauricio le patron et beaucoup de tranquillité. La suite Dali que nous avions est très spacieuse, très bien équipée. La décoration de cette maison est typique et chaleureuse. Les petits déjeuners sont parfaits. Promis, nous reviendrons!
Kristin P
Kristin P
2017-07-15
Verified review
Beautiful, great staff, will be coming back! We spent four nights here on a trip to Cuernavaca last week. We cannot say enough good things about this hotel. First, the people who work here are lovely. A+ service. (for example, one night at midnight I was feeling poorly and they gave us phone numbers for clinics, doctors and pharmacies, and made phone calls for us to be sure they could accommodate if needed). The rooms are lovely- all decorated with different regions of Mexico. Each room is unique. We were in a room with Guerrero furnishings and I wanted to take everything home with me! They have two pools, both lovely, and a nice little restaurant. Prices are modest. This is a great hotel for families. We will be back!!! Oh, we love Patricia...I'm not sure what her role is, but she showed us 10+ rooms so we could see the furnishings. She is the epitome of excellent service!
EviBr
EviBr
2017-07-10
Verified review
The friendliest hotel owners ever!! We just finished our stay at casa azul and we felt blessed to have stayed there. Mauritio and Ely, the owners, go out of their way to help their guests. We had the unfortunate experience that our luggage did not make it to Mexico City after our long flight. One of our suitcases arrived at the hotel in the middle of the next night. Ely woke up to handle this and never complained about it. Unfortunately the other suitcase was missing. As from that point, Ely did everything she could to help me, she called a million times to every possible service that could help us, which is obviously a frustrating job that I would not be able to handle myself. Meanwhile she insisted that we took the time to explore the city instead of waiting around. In the end she was the one that got me my suitcase back and we were so so great-full!!! Also, besides this, upon arrival, Mauritio took the time to give us all kind of suggestions on how we could make the most out of our short stay in MC. He gave us maps, a metro card, tips on restaurants and so much more. We had a truly wonderful stay despite our troubles and we really cannot thank this couple enough. If we ever go back to MC, without a doubt we will be staying here!!!
Jennifer L
Jennifer L
2016-10-17
Verified review
Lugar lindo! Adorei a decoração! Estilo casa colonial mexicana, do jeito que imaginava. Equipe nota 1000! O Mauricio é super solicito e explica TUDO sobre a cidade! Sempre tem água no quarto e vários agradinhos sutpresa. Bairro tranquilo. Quarto grande com linda decoracao mexicana e ótimo banheiro e ducha! O ambiente é muito tranquilo! Fiquei encantada pela a casa!Para o meu gosto o colchão era duro e por esse motivo não dormi bem, o que não incomodou outras pessoas do grupo. Não é tão perto do metrô quando se está com pessoas idosas. Usamos muito o Uber e o preço é bem acessível. Café da manhã é a lá carte, mas bem servido, tem fruta, suco, mas tb não é minha opção preferida, pois gosto de escolher na hora.
Betthillo
Betthillo
2016-09-19
Verified review
Excellent for relaxation Excellent family run small hotel...mexican ambiance...good for relaxing after running in the city...close by top and also neighborhood bars and restaurants..sure to be back. Good price range. Don't expect amenities from a big hotel as bar or exercise room.

Mex Suites Casa Azúl B&B is a quaint colonial-style bed and breakfast of only 8 suites located in a safe neighborhood of Mexico City. It offers free WiFi and à la carte breakfast. Each suite here includes a flat-screen TV, a working table and a mini-bar. They also include a small seating area and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet. Each suite is mexican decorated with frames of different impressionists. At Mex Suites Casa Azúl you will find a terrace and a shared lounge, while a wide variety of restaurants can be found on Insurgents Avenue, a 5-minute walk away.Mexico City is not only downtown. You have to move South, West, North, Center and also Downtown. Our property is located properly to visit all this interest points in 15 mins by public or private transportation. Booking on downtown is the most noisy, dangerous and polluted area in Mexico City. Be smart and lodge in a proper site. Nobody knows this city better than us and nobody will give you more added value for your trip or we will give your money back. We do not run this location for money we run it to make friends.