Spanish Art

Spanish Museums: Salamanca: Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum

Spanish Art - Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum

The Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum (Museo de Art Nouveau y Art Déco) is one of the most famous museums in every Salamanca city guide, Spain. It is the place to go to study Spanish art from the 19th and 20th Centuries, particularly if you are interested in glassware, ceramics and sculptures.


The Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum of Salamanca opened its doors to the public in April of 1995 and it soon became one of the most visited museums in the Spanish region of Castilla y León. Today, the museum has around 12,000 visitors every year.

The museum's founder, Manuel Ramos Andrade, has since received many prizes in order to reward him for his monumental contribution to not only the world of Spanish art, but to the cultural and tourism success of the city of Salamanca. Among his many awards, Manuel Ramos Andrade received the 'Salmantino del Año' (Salamancan of the Year) prize in 1995, the 'Master de popularidad' (Master of Popularity) award in 1997, and the 'Medalla de Oro de la Ciudad' (Gold Medal of the City) in 1998.

The museum has also had many visits from important Spanish figures, including members of the Spanish Royal Family. For example, the Queen of Spain, Doña Sofía made a private visit to the Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum in 2005, accompanied by the first ladies. The Queen and her entourage particularly enjoyed the section devoted to jewellery and showed a great deal of interest in the many dolls that are on display in the museum.

The Building

Spanish Art - Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum

The Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum is housed in the Casa Lis in Salamanca. This building was originally a small, private palace built at the very beginning of the 20th Century. The project was thought up by Miguel de Lis and was then carried out by the architect Joaquín Vargas.

The building had many owners before it began to be converted into a Spanish museum in the 1990s in order to exhibit the vast collection of pieces owned by the museum's founder, Manuel Ramos Andrade. During this decade, the restoration work of the old building was undertaken by the local Salamancan architects Javier Gómez Riesco and Francisco Morón. All of the stained glass windows in the house were given to a Catalan artist, Juan Villaplana, in order to restore them to their former glory. Manuel Ramos Andrade also contributed significantly to the restoration of the windows. Eventually this Spanish museum was opened on the 6th of April 1995.

The Collection

Spanish Art - Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum

The Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum has a collection which consists in around 2,500 pieces of artwork which are split into nineteen different sections of the decorative arts, dating from the end of the 19th Century into the first few decades of the 20th Century. Nearly all of the works that made up the original collection were donated by the museum's founder, Manuel Ramos Andrade, while the rest have been added by him over the past years.

One of the main sections of the museum is the one devoted to porcelain dolls. This collection consists in over 300 pieces and is made up of dolls from all over the world including famous companies from France and Germany such as Steiner and Jumeau.

Glassware is also another of the larger sections of the Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum in Salamanca. There are more than 200 pieces of glassware on display, produced by a range of artists. The items are also extremely varied including perfume bottles, lamps, jugs, and jars.

The museum also boasts a fantastic collection of chryselephantine sculptures. These extremely delicate sculptures are made from bronze and ivory and a good example of the Art Déco style. The collection at the Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum consists in around 120 pieces which were produced by more than 50 different artists.

© Spanish Arts 2011