Puerto Rico’s “Galería Nacional” or National Gallery is located inside of the former Dominican Monastery in the historic city of Old San Juan, between Norzagaray Street and the San José Church.
Administered by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the building houses several exhibits culled from the most important and complete collection of Puerto Rican painting dating back from the 18th Century up until the 1960’s.
Seminal artists like José Campeche, Puerto Rico’s foremost 18th Century painter; Francisco Oller, whose national affirmation through painting begat generations of like-minded artists; and other masters like Ramón Frade, Rafael Tufiño, and Augusto Marín, are all well represented.
There is also a collection of “Santos” on display. These small wooden sculptures of Catholic saints were an important outlet for artistic expression during the Spanish colonial era, and enjoy continued popularity to this day.
A requisite stop for art and history lovers alike, the Galería Nacional is a valuable cultural treasure that connects current generations to the creativity and artistic visions of generations past.