The history of Barcelona’s Museum of Ethnology date back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when a group of intellectuals and academics in Catalan ethnography started feeling the need of a space where the cultural, social and economic realities of traditional societies could be interpreted and explained.
Finally, during the 1940’s two museums were created: the Popular Arts and Industries museum (1942) and the Ethnologic and Colonial Museum (1949). The two museums converged in 1962, becoming only one museum, the Museum of Ethnology.
The museum focuses mainly on Catalan Ethnology, but it does contain pieces from other areas and countries, which are currently displayed at the Museum of World Cultures.
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The Museum of Ethnology has a permanent collection by the name of “Feel our heritage”. The museum’s first floor, entirely dedicated to the permanent collection, is divided in six spaces, each one of them named after the large-scale object they house: The boat, The winepress, The shepherd’s cabin, The loom, The blacksmith’s bellows, and The herbalist’s cabinet.
Visitors have the opportunity of not only seeing but also handling some of the objects that are part of the permanent collection.
Visitable Reserve Collection
The Visitable Reserve Collection features forty-six display cases containing pieces from various continents in the world. This collection is located on the spaces that surround the permanent collection, the library and the documentation center.
The Museum of Ethnology has a full floor reserved for temporary exhibitions, like “The sacred, the profane and the festive” and “A land of potters”. The temporary exhibitions floor is a space where the museum experiments with scientific and exposition methods, displaying items connected to topics that might be of interest to the visitors.
From time to time, the Museum of Ethnology, in collaboration with The Festival Activities Center, lends some of its pieces to other organizations and institutions who express interest in displaying them at their facilities.
The Museum of Ethnology organizes a series of activities for people of all ages, like concerts, workshops and guided visits. To learn more about the activities being offered this month, visit Museum of Ethnology’s official website.
Related article: Catalonia’s History Museum
You can find Barcelona’s Museum of Ethnology at Passeig de Sana Madrona, 12-22, at Montjuïc’s Park, close to the Archeology Museum and Fundación Joan Miró.
The Museum of Ethnology is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 am to 7 pm, remaining open for one hour longer on Sundays and bank holidays.
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