House - Museum : Cultural Center
In the shadow of the Cathedral of Cuernavaca the Casa de la Torre houses a unique collection of fine and decorative arts from all over the world. The visitor will enjoy a house-museum created in a portion of a massive adobe and stone XVI century Franciscan Monastery.
This collection was assembled by Robert Brady (1928-1986). Born in Iowa with a career in the fine arts at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tyler Arts Center of Temple University and the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, he established residence in Venice, Italy for five years before settling in Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1962.
During his entire creative life Brady traveled extensively adding to the collection. To be seen are works by Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo, Miguel Covarrubias, Maurice Prendergast, Marsden Hartley and Graham Sutherland.
With an unfailing artist's eye, Brady, a painter and designer, assembled this rich mosaic of contrasting styles and epochs. The wildly colorful rooms are exactly as Brady left them. Also the visitor will enjoy the sculptures set in the tropical vegetation of the surrounding gardens and patios.
This collection of more than 1,300 pieces also includes Mexican colonial furniture and statuary, prehispanic objects as well as art from Africa, the Americas, Oceania, India and the Far East displayed in the fourteen rooms open to the public.
Open Tuesday through Sunday 10am-6pm
Available for groups with reservations
- A small cafe in the main patio serving refreshments
- An audiovisual screening facility available for cultural events
- Rental of the outdoor patios for private receptions
From VisitMexico.com : The Cosmopolitan Side of Cuernavaca
Behind the cathedral, at number 4 Nezahualcoyotl street, you will find one of the best kept cultural treasures in Cuernavaca: the Brady Museum. This building is the former home of Robert Brady, an American collector who purchased the property in 1961 and decorated the house with a collection comprising more that 1,300 artworks, from paintings, to sculptures, engravings and handicrafts from all over the world. Among the small treasures you will be able to admire at this place, you will find the work of renowned painters such as Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, María Izquierdo, Miguel Covarrubias, Francisco Toledo, Jose Guadalupe Posadas, among many others.
In this eclectic art show you will recognize no trends or art schools, only a well defined sense of art encompassing every corner of the house, where you will be able to admire Mexican feather art, Persian rugs, a Byzantine mosaic from Ravenna, Christ figures from Puerto Rico, Peruvian colonial oil paintings, various pieces of African origin such as masks, totems and other human figurines.
For lunch, we suggest you to the Casa Azul, a boutique hotel with a restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious fish in chile guajillo sauce, seasoned with garlic salt and served with white rice, peas, corn and a side dish of vegetables; a delicious beef filet cooked in pepper, served with fresh green salad, or a juicy beef filet, tampiqueña style, with thin strips of poblano chile, white rice and refried beans. Don’t forget to try its delicious natural fruit sorbets prepared in an artisanal way, or to buy souvenirs at its gift shop.
If you want to spend an unforgettable night in Cuernavaca, this hotel is unique, because its suites are something you will always remember. Each room is carefully furnished and decorated with the theme of a state in the Mexican Republic, with its traditional handicrafts. In these rooms you will coexist with Oaxacan black clay vases, talavera pieces, and even an altarpiece, all of which is decorated with impeccable taste and with the best customer service.
From zocalotx.com : MUSEO ROBERT BRADY
Casa de la Torre
Everything was left exactly in its appointed place, as he wished.
Everything was and is, visually perfect.
Touring the Museo Robert Brady is a private glimpse into Robert Brady's colorful life at Casa de la Torre in Cuernavaca from 1961 to 1986, and reminds all who enter that color is visceral, that objects from seemingly disparate origins provoke the senses, and that in this exceptional home-now-museum, life is art.
|ABOVE: The simple pots remain perfectly positioned and planted as the owner intended along the home's entry balustrade. The contrast of the green plantings against the terra cotta wall and brilliant use of local building materials are but a preview to Brady's inspiring interiors.|
From his first moment of consciousness, I can only imagine that Robert Brady must have had a sense that these could not be his parents and that fate had mistakenly dropped him in Iowa. These feelings surely intensified as Brady discovered his sexual preference for men. The only thing that the gods did get right was that he was born into considerable wealth.
Brady showed an artistic flair from an early age and pursued studies at the Chicago Art Institute, Temple University (Philadelphia) and the Barnes Foundation (Merion, Pennsylvania) before inevitably traveling to Europe, as every aspiring artist should. After making a palatial home in Venice (quite seriously, in the former palace of Filippo de Pisis), fate of the right kind stepped in. Brady discovered a neighbor, best friend, and mentor in the fabulously flamboyant Peggy Guggenheim, who continued to influence the then young artist until his last breath.
|LEFT: A Diego Rivera sketch and contemporary sculpture grace a corner. RIGHT: An art-filled bathroom displays framed lithographs beside an elegant santo, contrasted against rustic shutters.|
Was it the indigenous culture, the bold use of colors, or an interest in the passionate muralists that first drew Robert Brady to Cuernavaca from Europe in 1959? Whatever his motivation, once in Cuernavaca he was completely smitten with all things Mexican. In 1961 he purchased Casa de la Torre, the former meteorological observatory of the Franciscan seminary, and began renovation on what would become his final home.
The observatory tower dating from the 1600s of course became Brady's studio.
|TWO STAIRCASE VIEWS. RIGHT: One view from the tower looks out onto ancient Moorish walls, the view artfully softened by vines. LEFT: Another view on a lower staircase frames a tree defiantly growing from a stone wall. Elegant planters installed on the actual tower enhance the view should someone cast an eye in this direction.|
In reinventing Casa de la Torre, Brady's love of art, passion for color, and voracious collecting came into full bloom. In this house one sees that Brady's eye was classically trained and refined in Europe, but his artistic soul was not loosened until Mexico. And loosened it was!
|ABOVE: Religious artifacts and paintings are perfectly placed with an artist's sensibility creating drama throughout the house. In every instance, the eye is drawn forward, then up, and finally rests on the details of the esthetic assemblages, each a still life painting in their careful arrangement.|
Brady's appetite for collecting knew no bounds and spanned the globe and centuries. Indian silks, oriental rugs, pre-Columbian art, Spanish Colonial paintings, religious saints and crosses, a Byzantine mosaic, Mexican dance masks, a Canadian totem, and indigenous Mexican folk art are but a few of the collection's highlights, which eventually grew to 1,400 notable pieces¹. But it was Brady's style of living with each artful object that leaves an indelible impression on museum visitors. Art is everywhere to be enjoyed!