The Artium Museum or Basque Centre-Museum of Contemporary Art was opened in 2002. It is located in a new building designed by architect José Luis Catón.
Its beginnings have to remount the mid-seventies of the last century when the Provincial Council of Alava performed its first moves for the creation of the Artium Collection.
The Artium Museum of Vitoria has the most comprehensive collection of Basque contemporary art and one of the largest in Spain
At that time the Council began to acquire works by some of the most important artists of Spanish contemporary art like Picasso, Tàpies, Miró, Gordillo, Canogar, Palazuelo, Saura, Basterretxea, Chillida, Ameztoy, Millares and Zumeta among others. This initiative of the Council results in the most comprehensive collection of Basque contemporary art and one of the most prominent contemporary Spanish art.
The importance of the collection motivates that in the late nineties arise the construction of a new museum where the collection could be in better conditions . So in 2001 was created the Artium Foundation for the management of the new museum, which opened a year after it was created. On it is exposed the permanent collection of the museum together with temporary exhibitions and various activities .
Vídeo de artium02
The building that houses the Artium is next to the medieval town of Vitoria–Gasteiz, forming a cultural center with the museums of Playing Cards, Archaeology, Science and Cultural Center Montehermoso. The museum forms a trapezoidal space in which the architect José Luis Catón created a space for public use, allowing to show some works by artists such as Chillida, Oteiza or Serra and others.
The main entrance to the museum is in a big bucket of white concrete, here we find the Main Lobby, Hall Plaza, the Auditorium Box Office, the luggage and the Restaurant Cube Artium among others. In the main hall is exposed a large ceramic mural by Miró and Llorens and a large sculpture of Javier Pérez.
From the lobby the visitor descends seven meters under ground level to reach the anteroom of the museum, where you can access the exhibition halls. In this space the visitor sees a set of sculptures of works of blown glass. To the right and left of this space are divided the accesses that leading to the South Hall and North Hall, which extend under the square.
From here, visitors can reach the Sala East low and high, which form a sort of U with the previous two rooms. Over these halls stands on the surface the gray granite building. This building houses the Administrative Services, the Library, Documentation Centre with Instructional Workshops and the image closing the trapezoid of the square.
The Artium Museum has a large collection of contemporary art which has not stopped growing since its beginning in the seventies.
The collection is formed by some 3,000 works spanning all techniques used in contemporary creation, from the early avant-garde to the present.
Similarly Artium Museum acquired some works by international artists, to give the museum a greater projection.
The permanent collection consists mainly by funds from the County Council formed by works of artists like Dali, Picasso, Miró, Tàpies, Gargallo, Oteiza, Chillida, Barceló Basterretxea or others. During the past years there have been acquisitions of important works from donations and deposits from private collectors and public institutions. The exhibition is modified each year with the aim of exposing the various works of the large collection.
The visit to the Museum of Vitoria Artium can be made throughout the year except Mondays the museum remain closed.
Price of the entrance 6€
Francia Kalea 24,Vitoria-Gasteiz, teléfono: 945 20 90 00
More information about the Artium Museum in artium.org
Cover image in artium.org
Recommended restaurants in Vitoria-Gasteiz
Accommodation in Vitoria-Gasteiz
How do you want to visit Vitoria-Gasteiz?
We have a team of collaborators expert guides in art history, heritage and ethnography. Send us your idea and we’ll send a proposal with no obligation.