Víctor Balaguer Library Museum
The politician and writer Victor Balaguer founded the Victor Balaguer Library Museum in 1884. It is one of Catalonia’s oldest and most singular museums. The building keeps almost all the original decoration and collections, so visitors are able to know how the museum was like in the 19th century.
The building was conceived as a library and a museum, a temple of knowledge opened to everyone to promote culture and education. It became the first public building in Catalonia built with the purpose of being a library and a museum.
The legacy of Victor Balaguer is located on the ground floor, and it’s formed by the set of books and artworks he gathered throughout his life: paintings, sculptures, ethnographic objects from faraway cultures and pieces of archaeology and decorative arts, along with an extraordinary library.
Its galleries include works of some of the main Catalan artists such as Martí Alsina, Rusiñol, Casas, Vallmitjana , Nonell, Anglada Camarasa, Mir, Nogués, among others, which show an exceptional travel through Catalan art from Romanticism to Noucentisme. Also, stands out the legacy of the first Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona (1960's) and the informalism art collection. The painting section is completed with a permanent exhibition of some oil paintings of the Spanish and European Baroque period, which come from the historical collection of the Museo del Prado (Madrid). This section includes works of El Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Maíno or Goya.
Amongst the ethnographic collections, there are pieces from the Philippines, Egypt, China, and Japan, and there is also an exhibition of pre-Columbian art. All these collections are the result of the so common 19th-century interest for other cultures and Mr Balaguer’s political career as an Overseas Minister. The Egyptian collection is probably the most important, as it was the first one in Catalonia, and includes a child mummy named Nesi (one of the five mummies nowadays kept in Catalan museums).
Archaeology and decorative arts are also represented by some singular pieces as the 12th-century Mozarab mortar, bronze Iberian pieces or the ceramic collections.
The important artistic collection has enabled the Museu Balaguer to become part of the Art Museums of Catalonia Network. Moreover, the Biblioteca Balaguer, with its patrimonial bibliographic collection, is related to the Biblioteca de Catalunya.
Av. Víctor Balaguer
From March 7th, 2022, closed for renovation works