The Museo del Barro is a private initiative, constituted over a period of more than three decades worth of work. The museum dates back to 1972 – during full-blown dictatorship – when it was founded by Olga Blinder and Carlos Colombino under the name “Circulating Collection”. At the time, the project consisted of the traveling exhibition of urban graphics in cultural centers, squares and universities. In 1984, the Josefina Plá Room was inaugurated in Asunción, establishing the central nucleus of the Museum’s current headquarters.
We spoke with Lía Colombino, director of the section of the institution known as the Museum of Indigenous Art, about the museum’s collections, its objectives and the challenges of exhibiting folkloric, indigenous and erudite art in one place.
C&AL: What made you decide to create this space?
Lía Colombino: The museum is strongly embedded in sentiments, chance complicity and agreements and disagreements. Another aspect has to do with a cultural resistance, ultimately lleading a group of people to create a space for themselves where they feel represented. The artists and intellectuals who were involved in the creation of the Museo del Barro lacked asylum, because the institutions devoted to art that existed in Paraguay in the 1970s were very conservative and the political commitment of some of the artists made them unwelcome. And so there was a desire to build a space where they could participate.