Museo del Barro (Museum of Clay) – Metepec, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Museo del Barro (Museum of Clay)

Metepec, Mexico

A collection of incredible clay crafts, complete with earthen skeletons and mermaids. 

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The Mexican city of Metepec is known for creating clay pottery. To show off some of these exquisite works of art, the Museo del Barro (Museum of Clay) was born.

The museum’s collection covers only one floor of the museum. Although it looks like a small exhibition, the complexity and details of each piece make it worth a stop.

Near the entrance, you’ll find a charming clay mural made by children. Next, you’ll spot what Guinness World Records claims is the largest clay cooking pot in the world, which chefs used to cook the world’s largest serving of tacos.

You’ll also see a variety of Tree of Life sculptures. These typically show biblical scenes, but the ones in the museum depict much more. Take a good look at these works of art, and you’ll see mermaids, animals, and historical figures, including a tree detailing the life of Frida Kahlo. 

The pitcher area might not seem interesting if you don’t get close enough to see the decorations. But once you take the time to appreciate the details, you’ll see things like skulls, lizards, and even jokes and phrases about drunkenness painted on pots, cups, and vases.

The sculpture area has a scaled-down reproduction of the Church of Metepec, complete with people going to mass in carriages, walking, or on horseback. The anatomy of some of the sculptures and the details of the original scenes are remarkable.

But without a doubt, the most surprising part of the museum is the collection of miniatures. There, you’ll spot a tiny party of skeletons, pots the size of a finger, and the smallest object of all: a Tree of Life that represents a fashion show of skulls that measures just three centimeters.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Entrance is free. The museum provides information about the artists behind the artwork, including info on where you can order original art.