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The “Acta de constitución del Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá” [Articles of Association of the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota] begins with the following two lines: “On November 20, 1962, at the Teatro Colón, at 7 p.m., the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá was founded in the presence of the following people.” There are nearly 85 signatures of witnesses to the event, including the Argentine art critic Marta Traba and the Polish art critic Casimiro Eiger, both of whom were living in Colombia at the time. Also among the witnesses were the artists Feliza Bursztyn, Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar, and Camila Loboguerrero; the essayist, journalist, and critic Hernando Téllez, and others who were involved in the local art scene, such as Rodrigo Bonilla, Cristina de Escobar, Margarita Lozano, Stella La Rota, and Ana Vejarano de Uribe.



These Articles of Association heralded the establishment of a modern art museum in the capital city of Colombia. This project was launched seven years earlier as an official initiative sponsored by the Ministry of Education during the administration of General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953–57), and was jump-started in 1958 as a private, independent organization.


By the time this document was issued, the city’s cultural community, which had grown considerably since 1955, was determined to open the Museum. A Board of Directors was elected, headed by the art critic Marta Traba (1923–83). The museum organized a series of audiovisual events, exhibitions, and exchanges with art institutions in the rest of the world before it even had a home or a collection of its own. It nonetheless enjoyed the support of artists, critics, political figures, and public and private organizations. 


The first Board of Directors proposed creating a permanent collection and rented temporary premises which were promptly inaugurated on October 31, 1963 with the exhibition Tumbas [Graves] by the Venezuelan artist Juan Antonio Roda (1921–2003), who lived in Colombia.   


This document is among those included in the appendix to the book by Eduardo Serrano El Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá: recuento de un esfuerzo conjunto [The Museum of Modern Art in Bogotá: The Story of a Joint Effort]; the original Articles are in the archives of the Museum at its current premises in Bogotá.


Other documents related to this one: (“Acta de Fundación del Museo de Arte Moderno-1955” [Founding Articles of the Museum of Modern Art – 1955], see doc. # 1097917); (“Tarjeta de invitación a reunión en el Teatro Colón. Propósito: Fundación Museo de arte Moderno-1962” [Invitation to the Meeting at the Teatro Colón. Objective: Founding of the Museum of Modern Art – 1962], doc. # 1150198); (“Primer informe de actividades Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá 1963” [Initial Report of Activities, Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, 1963], doc. # 1093526); and (“Catalogo de exposición Tumbas (1963)” [‘Graves’ Exhibition Catalogue (1963)], doc. # 1092548).


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