Home LifestyleArt and Culture MACAY is the most important center of modern and contemporary art in the Yucatán Peninsula

MACAY is the most important center of modern and contemporary art in the Yucatán Peninsula

by Yucatan Times
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The museum forms part of the facilities of the old building known as the Ateneo Peninsular, it was built between 1573 and 1636, it is located in the main square of the city of Mérida, and it had several uses and modifications over the years.

The structure was remodeled back in 1916 by famous architect Manuel Amábilis, who gave the site a French Neo-Renaissance style. Among the uses that it has had since its construction, the rectory of the cathedral, Colegio de San Ildefonso, Ateneo Peninsular (arts teaching center), Archbishop’s Palace, chapels of San José and Santo Rosario, Conciliar Seminary, hostel religious and government offices.

The Museo de Arte Contempoáneo Ateneo de Yucatán MACAY-Fernando García Ponce, better known as MACAY, is the only museum dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of modern and contemporary art throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, in all Southeast Mexico.

This museum receives an average of 72,000 visitors annually. This museum distinguishes for its deep educational, vocation, serving more than 22 thousand children a year, through special programs, courses, workshops, and guided tours.

MACAY promotes the dissemination and knowledge of national and international modern and contemporary art. For this reason, every three months, its 15 temporary exhibition halls are renewed at the same time, carrying out around 45 annual shows, moving around 2,000 pieces every time.

(Photo: elsoldepuebla.com.mx)

The discursive line of its temporary exhibitions aims to expose and document the artistic expressions produced from the beginning of the 20th century to the avant-garde and new routes of expression.

The facility features 15 rooms for temporary exhibitions, two galleries and four permanent rooms, where the work of three great figures of Yucatecan art is exhibited: Fernando Castro Pacheco, Fernando García Ponce, and Gabriel Ramírez Aznar.

The total area of ​​the Museum is 3,500 m2, including two interior spaces: the Central Garden and the Expoforo. This last area allows the exhibition of large-format works, thanks to its large size (capacity for 500 seated people). This space keeps the museum in line with new global trends in terms of artistic productions.

MACAY is also the only museum to have two original media outlets: the radio program Arte Conexión and the television program La Hora Cultural Macay. In addition, a quarterly cultural online bulletin is published, with distribution in the 5 continents.

The MACAY recently initiated a cultural Exchange with its counterpart in Havana, Cuba the MNBA, this Alliance is known as YUCUNET.

The YUCUNET project has the general objective of offering the tools for the creation of an educational, research and work network in Contemporary Art in the Yucatan-Cuba region.

It also aspires to contribute to the formation of two specific and parallel degrees in Mérida and Havana, or, ideally, an International Double Degree, on Art Management and Contemporary Cultures that will be taught in Mexico and Cuba through e-teaching and e-learning.

The initiative will be based on two specialized art higher education plans that will be designed jointly, one for the UADY University of Mérida, and another for the ISA University of Havana, with the intention that they can be merged into one single common framework.


Working hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


  • Pasaje de la Revolución (between Calle 58 and Calle 60)
  • Mérida, Yucatán, México. PC 97000.

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