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Art from one of Catalonia’s most important art movements, the Museu del Modernisme Català (MMCAT) is the only museum that is dedicated exclusively to Catalan Art Nouveau. The museum, which opened in March 2011, is located in modernist residential and factory buildings built by Eric Santer between 1902 and 1904.

The MMCAT has an exhibition area of 1,000 m². On the ground floor of the museum there are mainly furnishings from the modernist era, such as cabinets, dining tables, wardrobes, office furniture, crucifixes, ceramics and other artfully designed everyday items. Here it becomes clear why the modernist era was mainly a middle class Bourgeois epoch: objects – whether for everyday use or as an object d’art – are all beautifully designed. Even at the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries the purchaser of such objects had to outlay a considerable amount of money. On the ground floor can be found the furniture of designer and architect Antoni Gaudí, the most important representative of Modernism. In an area of the museum dedicated specifically to him there are works that were designed especially by the master for the decoration of the Casa Calvet, the Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. In the cellar of the former factory building, you will find the painting and sculpture collection. Works exhibited here are from some of the most important Modernist painters: including Ramon Casas – whose works defined the style of Modernism, amongst others – Santiago Rusiñol, one of the most outstanding artists of the modernist era, and Joaquim Mir i Trinxet who produced great modernist works. Significant sculptures are exhibited by Josep Llimona and Eusebi Anrnau, a sculptor who was also involved in the building of the Palau de la Música and the Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau.

The museum collection consists of over 350 works by 42 artists of various disciplines of modernist painting, sculpture, furniture and decorative arts. The collection comes from the gallery owners, Fernando und Maria Pinos Guira and their Gothsland gallery. The architecture is not presented as independent and most obvious discipline of Modernism, although the museum itself is housed in a modernist building. But the Eixample district, which houses the MMCAT, constitutes a veritable open-air museum with its huge variety of modernist buildings.

More information:

MMCAT fact file -museum site

The audio is in Catalan yet the video will give you an idea on what to expect when visiting the place.

Video: © TV3 Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals, S.A.

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