The collection took shape in different stages during the life of Franz Mayer, which were defined by the market situation, his trips and the historical context of the time. His first acquisition was a large group of tiles that belonged to multiple buildings, among them Casa de los Azulejos. These works marked the beginning of a multi-faceted collection of great value, where, in addition to ceramics, the collection of furniture, photography, silver and painting stand out, as well as the wide collection of watches, household goods, textiles and cartography.
The last period of his collector’s stage focused in the acquisition of colonial art, be it paintings, furniture, textiles, silver and objects belonging to the material culture of that period. At this moment, Franz Mayer announces to his art brokers that he is in search of monumental pieces, of large scale and related to the history of Mexico.
With the passing of time, the collection went through a process of refinement with the help of experts in each field, and with the specialization that Franz Mayer himself acquired through the study of different topics related to his collection, it became known for the unsurpassed quality of many of the artworks in it. The acculturation, the diversity of techniques and materials, alongside the different contexts to which they belong, make this collection an invaluable source for knowledge and study.
The importance of the Franz Mayer Collection is evident as works of remarkable value form part of singular temporary exhibitions within Mexico, as well as abroad.
The Franz Mayer Museum owns one of the most important and complete ceramic collections of the country. It is made up primordially by glazed ceramic originating from Europe and Mexico, both Colonial and Independent. Likewise, a vast variety of oriental porcelain fabricated for the occidental market is exhibited.
The furniture collection of the museum possesses some of the most exquisite pieces that can be found in Mexico. Designed with woods of excellent quality and refined traditional techniques, these furnishings allow the spectator to glimpse the tastes and lifestyle of New Spain’s society and from other latitudes, as well.
The exhibition of devotional sculptures from Europe and New Spain, give testimony of the rich variety of styles, manufactures and techniques of the time. These fascinating pieces are displayed throughout the museum’s halls.
Painting and Engravings
The Franz Mayer Museum’s Gallery is formed by important paintings and engravings from renowned artists, both Mexican and European. The collection spans from the Fifteenth-Century through the Twentieth-Century, in different formats and techniques.
Formed mostly by liturgical pieces of unparalleled beauty, this collection displays the evolution of techniques and ornamental styles throughout four centuries. In addition to being an approximation to the liturgical practice, this collection proudly presents the art derived from one of the most iconic materials of Mexico.