Art museum to feature renowned artist’s pre-Columbian representations

As one of the most highly regarded artists in Costa Rican history, Francisco Zúñiga’s masterpieces have long been admired throughout his home country. Now the Museo de Arte Costarricense is bringing his artwork featuring pre-Columbian  ceramics to its temporary exhibit hall.

Forty-four ornate watercolor laminates and seven ink portraits make up the collection of his ceramic designs. After an inauguration ceremony on the night of April 30, the display will be featured from May 2 until Sept. 28.

Zúñiga was born in Guadalupe in 1912 but spent much of his life in Mexico and became a Mexican citizen. In his 20s he sculpted one of his most well-known Costa Rican works in “Maternidad,” which now resides at the Hospital Nacional de las Mujeres. Before his death in 1998 he received a variety of awards and had his work shown in revered museums around the world, including a permanent housing in some like New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Both a sculptor and a painter, the decorated career of Zúñiga is noted for its works that focus mainly on the human body and its many forms. Still his disciplines and styles varied as he worked with everything from chalk to bronze in putting together his art. He won first prize from Costa Rica’s Salón de Escultura in 1935 for his work on “Maternidad” before relocating to Mexico where he became internationally recognized.

Today his bearded bust can be seen on display outside of Teatro Nacional downtown.

The museum will also have an exhibit showing Costa Rican artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries consisting of 83 pieces. This collection is aimed to focus on historical dialogue between the diverse groups that have inhabited Costa Rica.

As always, the Museo de Arte Costarricense is free to the public and open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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