Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Spain, Barcelona

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, abbreviated as MNAC (Catalan pronunciation: [muˈzɛw nəsiuˈnaɫ ˈdard də kətəˈɫuɲə], meaning in English: National Art Museum of Catalonia) is a museum of Catalan visual art located in Barcelona, Catalonia. It is housed in the Palau Nacional, built for the 1929 World's Fair. Situated on the Montjuïc hill at the end of Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, it was rehabilitated for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The museum was located in this building in 1990, when the Catalonian Museum Law reunited the collections of the former Museu d'Art de Catalunya (Catalonian Art Museum) and the Museu d'Art Modern (Modern Art Museum), and declared it the national museum. The new museum thus combined Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art collections from the Museu d'Art de Catalunya with the 19th and 20th century art collections of the Museu d'Art Modern, and incorporated the Gabinet de Dibuixos i Gravats (Department of Drawings and Prints), the Gabinet Numismàtic de Catalunya (Catalonia Department of Numismatics; coinage and medals) and the Biblioteca d'Història de l'Art (Art History Library). In 1996, the Department of Photography was created. The museum opened in 1995, with the Romanesque art section. The Gothic art section was opened in 1997, while the Renaissance, Baroque, 19th century and 20th century collections opened in 2000. The official opening, with the building completely rehabilitated and all the collections in place, was in 2004. The original Museu d'Art de Catalunya was opened in 1934 at the same location as today, but was closed during the Spanish Civil War. It was reopened from 1940 to 1942. In 1945, the Modern Art Museum opened in the Arsenal of the Ciutadella park. Since 2004, the MNAC accommodates works of the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. The works were exposed in the Monastery of Pedralbes but it was decided to move them to facilitate the visits of the public. Paintings of the periods included between the Gothic period and the rococo are shown.