Image: Old San Juan
Joe Raedle  /  Getty Images
Colorful homes line the cobblestoned streets in Old San Juan, the original capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
updated 1/8/2007 9:54:06 AM ET 2007-01-08T14:54:06

Many of the museums in Old San Juan close for lunch between 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m., so schedule your activities accordingly if you intend to museum-hop.

The Best Places to See Puerto Rican Art--With its dozen or so museums and even more art galleries, Old San Juan is the greatest repository of Puerto Rican arts and crafts. Galleries sell everything from pre-Columbian artifacts to paintings by relatively contemporary artists such as Angel Botello, who died in 1986. Galería Botello was his former home. He restored the colonial mansion himself; now his paintings and sculptures are on display there.

The grandest repository of art in San Juan is at the Museo de Arte , which is a virtual textbook on all the big names in the art world who rose from Puerto Rico often to international acclaim.

Another good place to see Puerto Rican art is the Museum of History, Anthropology & Art (tel. 787/763-3939). Because of space limitations, the museum's galleries can exhibit only a fifth of their vast collection at one time, but the work is always top-notch. The collection ranges from pre-Columbian artifacts to works by today's major painters.

Outside San Juan, the greatest art on the island is at the Museo de Arte de Ponce . The collection, donated by former governor Luís A. Ferré, ranges from Jan van Eyck's Salvatore Mundi to Rossetti's Daughters of King Lear. The museum building was designed by Edward Durell Stone, who also designed New York's Museum of Modern Art. Works are displayed in a honeycomb of skylit hexagonal rooms. In addition to such European masters as Reubens, Van Dyck, and Murillo, the museum features works by Latin American artists, including Diego Rivera. Puerto Rican artists who are represented include José Campeche and Francisco Oller.

For more on what to see and do in San Juan, PR, visit our complete guide online at

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