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This document is pertinent to the official founding of a museum of modern art in the city of Bogotá on July 27, 1955. The ceremony, which was organized by the office of Education Minister Aurelio Caicedo Ayerbe, was held at the Hotel Tequendama. Important figures from different spheres of Colombian society (clergy, government officials, businessmen, educators, artists, journalists, cabinet members, as well as cultural attachés and ambassadors from foreign embassies) attended the ceremony. The text provides a detailed description of the event, and on the bottom of the page, the signatures of attendants appear, among them important figures on the local art scene such as Polish art critic Casimiro Eiger, Estonian composer Olav Roots, and artists Alejandro Obregón and Luis Alberto Acuña.


This is the first known document about the creation of a museum of modern art in the Colombian capital. It was one of the materials consulted by critic, curator, and art historian Eduardo Serrano (b. 1939) to write his history of the Museo de Arte Moderno of Bogotá (MAM), a study that encompasses the period that begins with the founding of the institution and ends a few months before it moved to its permanent location in 1985. The original document is housed in the storage area of the Museo de Arte Moderno–MAM, located at 6th Avenue and 24th Street.  


In his book, Eduardo Serrano describes how, in 1955, the Museo de Arte Moderno was formally established by the government by means of executive decree 2057 issued on July 28, 1955, then endorsed by Aurelio Caicedo Ayerbe, the minister of education during the dictatorship of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. In 1958, pursuant to the request of the founding members in their recognition of the tension between how the museum was founded and the sense of autonomy necessary to modern art, and therefore, any institution representing it, the initial founding document was declared null and void and the Museo de Arte Moderno was declared an independent body.  


Regardless of its later annulment, this document is considered important insofar as the community that gathered at the Hotel Tequendama formed the basis of the museum project on the grounds of a new set of bylaws that were established in 1962, until it opened in a new location and with a permanent collection of its own (1963).

Related documents include “Acta de Constitución del Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá–1962” [see doc. no. 1098586].

Alexandra Mesa Mendieta
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Reproduced with permission of Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia