Jose Hernandez Museum of Folk Art
Museo de Motivos Argentinos José Hernández


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Museo de Motivos Argentinos José Hernández

Museum of Popular Art Jose Hernandez
Jose Hernandez Museum of Folk Art

(This museum goes by several names)

Address: Ave. Libertador 2373-1425, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Wed – Fri 1p.m. to 7p.m.
Sat & Sun 10a.m. to 8p.m.

Entrance Fee: $4 pesos; the reception said there wasn’t a fee, but asked for a small donation. Sundays are free of charge.

This is a small museum located in Palermo Chico that gives you some insight into the culture and customs of the People of Buenos Aires.  It shows the skills the people have mastered in wood carving, silverwork, and textiles.  The mission of the Jose Hernandez Museum is to gather, collect, document, preserve and promote the folk art of Argentina.


Sachaguitarre Elpidio Herra Pumpkin base, cedar handle, carobtree tuning fork and broad ribbon cover.

The Building

The building of the Museo de Motivos Argentinos Jose Hernandez was home to Felix Bunge until he donated it to the city of Buenos Aires in 1938.  The museum opened ten years later under the name Museum of Argentine Popular Reasons “Jose Hernandez”.

Jose Hernandez

Jose Hernandez, a famous Argentinean journalist and poet, wrote the epic poem “Martin Fierro” in 1873.  This poem illustrates the life of a gaucho (cowboy) who is drafted to fight against the Indians in a border dispute.  The style of this poem is famous for its ballads known as payadas, which gauchos were known to sing day and night.  “Martin Fierro” is a great example of folk art as the poem evokes emotions of traditional Argentinean farm life.

Folk Art

The Museum of Folk Art holds a variety of crafts, textiles and Carnaval costumes which represent the Creole traditions and native communities of Argentina.

In the first room next to the reception, the Maestros Artesanos room, you can find the permanent displays of crafts from Argentina. Some of the exhibits include The Urban Crafts from Buenos Aires, Silversmiths from River Plate, and replicas of  old women knitting.  These exhibits display everything from religious wood carvings, silver mates and hand woven textiles.

The Garden

After the first room you enter a small enclosed garden, which sometimes holds outside exhibits.  When we visited the Jose Hernandez Museum in January of 2007 there was only one statue on display in the garden.  The statue was a bronze sculpture of two horses which play into the theme of gauchos on a farm.  There was also an old well in the garden, but it is now overgrown and just there to contribute to the ambiance of the museum’s garden.


In the room following the garden is a modest display of silverwork.  The exhibition Plateros Rioplatenses includes work from European immigrants which arrived in Argentina in the early 1900’s.  In this room you can find spurs, horse bits, and knives which were used by the gauchos.  There are also the famous mate cups and straws which are still popular today.

Carnaval Costumes

The next room is a colorful treat; it is full of Carnaval costumes and pictures from recent Carnavals.  These Carnaval suits come from an Argentinean providence called Corrientes and make up the permanent exhibit, Costumes from the Carnaval of Corrientes (Trajes del Carnaval Correntino).  These elaborate costumes are made from leather, crepe, silk, stones and crystals.  It makes an interesting ending to a tour of the Museo de Arte Popular José Hernández.


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