A budget boost and the generosity of several Tico artists has made an addition of 12 new pieces of art possible for the Costa Rican Art Museum in San José s west-side La Sabana Park. Art lovers here may have to wait at least a year to see them, however, as the museum will be closed for remodeling throughout 2009.
Few pieces have been added to the museum s collection in the past several years, as the annual budget has allowed only about $1,000 for the acquisition of new works. This year, however, the government gave the budget a huge boost, to $35,000.
We were missing some paintings from essential periods in the 20th century, said museum curator José Miguel Rojas. This allowed us to acquire some from those important decades we were missing.
The museum purchased seven of the paintings from well-known Costa Rican artists, including Francisco Amighetti s Viaje hasta la noche triptych and Autorretrato negro by Héctor Burke. Paintings were also bought from Juan Luis Rodríguez Sibaja, Rolando Faba, Miguel Hernández, Claudio Fantini and Rafael Angel Felo García.
The remaining paintings were donated by artists Crisanto Badilla, Adrián Arguedas, Manuel Zumbado Retena, Miguel Hernández and José Alberto Hernández.
Rojas said he hopes the museum will be able to reopen in January 2010, though no date has been confirmed. Meanwhile, he said, a collection of its pieces is set to go on a Central American tour including the Museum for National Identity in Honduras April 28 to June 28, the El SalvadorArt Museum July 23 to July 30, and Guatemala s Carlos Mérida National Museum of Modern Art Sept. 15 to Oct. 30. Nicaragua s NationalMuseum is tentatively included on the tour from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15, 2010, and Panama is also a possibility, Rojas said, though no dates have been set.