In 1895, following the order of President José Evaristo Uriburu, The National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA) was created, and the art objects of the Public Museum founded in 1826 were transferred there. On December 25, 1896 the MNBA opened its doors to the public.
The first Museum director was Eduardo Schiaffino, a painter and art critic. He asked other painters and art collectors to donate to the Museum whose initial patrimony consisted of 163 pieces. The first quarters of the MNBA were located in the Bon Marché galleries, on Florida St., where the Galerías Pacífico are now. In 1910, the initial patrimony had already multiplied itself, and the Museum moved to the then Argentine Pavilion, a typical building of iron and crystal architecture, that was built to represent Argentina in the Universal Paris Exhibit of 1889, and later placed in San Martin square.
At present, the Museum is located on 1473 Libertador Ave. in Buenos Aires, where the former Casa de Bombas Obras Sanitarias (sanitary works) was built in 1870.
At present, the Ground Floor, which has a surface of 2000 m2, is used to exhibit international art collections. On the first floor, there is the Argentine art and art of the American continent of the XIX and XX centuries. Also on this floor, there is the Auditorium which serves as the room for numerous cultural activities. On the second floor, there is the office of the director, as well as the technical and administrative offices. There are two terraces where the visitors can see sculptures in the open air. Also on this floor, as of 2004, there is a room for photographic exhibits.
The collections have increased steadily and today there are about 11, 000 pieces, most of them are paintings, prints, and sculptures, of European, Asian, and American origin of different periods up to today. The Argentine art includes pieces that trace back to the foreign painters that visited the country in the beginning of the XIX century up to the latest artistic trends of the XX century.
There are guided visits and conferences organized by the Educational Department of the Museum. There are also audio guides in Spanish and English. The library, specialized in art, has a patrimony of over 150.000 pieces.
Information source: Museum Guide. Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina. Pictures: Museum´s web.