Espacio Fundación Telefónica: Houdini. Las Leyes del Asombro [Telefónica Foundation Center: Houdini, Laws of Astonishment]

The Espacio Fundación Telefónica is the community cultural center for a multinational communications company, Telefónica.  It hosts workshops and small but nicely curated exhibits, such as this Houdini one, which recently finished its run.  It only took about 45 minutes to see everything, and while it was light on Houdini-related artifacts, it did have some pretty cool vintage magic and illusion objects, as well as a good layout and use of its small space.  Houdini’s biography was presented and given some contemporary context, and the signs were in both Spanish and English.  It was free, fun, and interesting.  Here’s my photos.  Sorry this is so short, but I need a nap.


Luján: Complejo Museográfico Provincial Enrique Udaondo: Museo del Transporte [Enrique Udaondo Provincial Museum Complex: Museum of Transport]

Our third stop in Luján is part of the museum complex, in much larger buildings, because it’s got a bunch of moving things in it!


Now, normally, I’m not a big fan of transportation museums.  Things that transport are pretty utilitarian to me; it would be like visiting a museum of hammers.  Cars are especially boring.  But fortunately for me, this museum was chock full of OLD-TIMEY TRANSPORTS.  And those are much more fun.

You know how big this is? I wish I got someone to stand next to it for scale. The wheel was person-high.

Old-timey things are often interesting because of their scale.  It is difficult, for whatever reason, to accurately imagine the size of things without our bodies physically there to compare to.  If you only see representations on TV or on paper, it’s still a bit startling when you find yourself occupying the meatspace with a covered wagon, a steam engine, or an NBA player.

The museum’s steam engine and train cars were not available to climbing, but they thoughtfully included very scary mannequins.

“Oh, it’s La Porteña, from 1857! How charming!”
If you stare long enough, you’ll swear you can see them move.

Let’s take a look at a carriage for classy people!  This one was presidential, so it has the fancy national logo.

From back when assassination was actually a challenge.

I really liked the bicycles.


Ricardo Nuñez Saavedra rode this bike all over the world, from 1963-1966. His thighs must have been insane.

You can also find the Plus Ultra, the first plane to cross the southern Atlantic, in 1926. It was given to the Argentine Navy and also delivered mail.


There is a sailboat!

I…I don’t remember anything about the sailboat.

Now there is apparently a popemobile that I did not notice, and there are many, many carriages on display, but the most impressive are the 1880 funeral coaches:


Feathers? Cool.

So that’s the Museum of Transport, and it was much more fun than I expected it to be.  Open seven days a week with a very inexpensive ticket.  I leave you with a couple of views of a nearby mural, that I think is on one of the museum buildings.


Luján: Complejo Museográfico Provincial Enrique Udaondo: El Museo Colonial e Historico [Enrique Udaondo Provincial Museum Complex: The Colonial and Historical Museum]

Continuing the whirlwind tour of my whirlwind tour of museums in Luján, this is the El Museo Colonial e Historico in the Complejo Museográfico Provincial Enrique Udaondo:

I was clearly snapping photos on the move that day, but try to forgive me, as I was also trying to limit the number of tourists in my shots and the square was lousy with them.

The museum is comprised of the oldest buildings in the province, if my obscenely poor Spanish serves, and so provides some lovely examples of colonial era architecture.

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It also provides examples of a variety of historical thingamajigs.

Mates and bombillas have not changed much.


The drawing is of national hero and father of the nation General José de San Martín, so I thiiiiiiiiink epaulets and sword are his?
“Without education, we will never be more than we unfortunately are.” Although there doesn’t seem to be a really good translation for “desgraciadamente.” Yes, this is a library catalog.
OUCH OH MY GOD WHY (it’s a cilice)

There’s old-timey science!


Old-timey medicine did not fuck around. Do not confuse the orange blossom water for the morphine syrup.

And the requisite haunted doll.

“Come play at the river with me….”

It’s a thoughtful, wide-ranging museum, and it includes some comparisons between olden times and modern ones. Ever a fan of interactivity in museums, I was pleased to see a wall that invited visitors to write down what they see in an old painting of a young child.


Veered off topic a bit in places.
There is no place Argentines won’t leave political graffiti.

Speaking of political scribbles!  A lesson in political cartoons:


Political cartoon, 1822. “If you thought that political cartoons were a new thing, now we see they are not…”

And, very pleasantly, a comparison of family life and marriage, which includes, for modern examples, two married men and a bi-racial family.  It also talks about how the idea of what constitutes “women’s work” has changed.

There’s more there!  It’s really a lovely, thoughtful history museum and worth a visit.  It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays except for previously arranged guided tours.  There is a entry fee, and I can’t remember how much it is, but it was inexpensive.

Luján: Museo de Bellas Artes Fernán Félix de Amador [Fernán Félix de Amador Museum of Fine Arts]

This little warm hug of art, I swear.

Now, I am very, very behind, owing to a burst of paying work that I reluctantly gave priority to, so here’s a very brief introduction to a teeeeeny tiny museum.

Temporary installation piece: “Selfie Couple,” 2018. Hahahahahahahaha.

The Museo de Bellas Artes is located, along with most stuff anyone ever sees in Luján, on the long main square that ends in the basilica. It’s free, and you might spend half an hour there. I believe the art is primarily Argentine. I am especially fond of the motorcycle mantises, from the series “Motomantis,” by Marta Gonzalez.

The main hall:


And a couple more of my favorite paintings currently on display:



The museum also features sculptures, including a bit of outdoor sculpture space, although the real work on display here is my terrible, terrible photography:

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Right outside the front door, a sculpture of a woman with a mate.


There’s even a tiny shop, although it was unmanned during our visit.


So if you’re in Luján, pop into the art museum and give your eyeballs an art snack. It’s free, open seven days a week, and located right by the basilica, several places to eat, other attractions, and many, many souvenir stands offering a bewildering array of basilica-branded merchandise.