Escuela de Bellas Artes

(School of Fine Arts)

                Simply referred to as "Bellas Artes," the official name of this arts school is Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez. It was named after Ignacio Ramirez (shown above), a leading progressive thinker in the 19th century who lived in San Miguel de Allende. Bellas Artes is the cultural center of San Miguel. It is housed in the former 18th century Convento de la Concepción (the Convent of the Conception) and is beside the Iglesia de la Concepción (the Church of the Conception). Since 1938, Bellas Artes has been an institute for the study of music, dance, and the visual arts. It is also a branch of the Palacio de Bellas Artes of Mexico City. In addition to classrooms, it has rotating exhibits and a patio cafeteria. At the time I visited, there were dance classes in progress. The gardens in the courtyard of Bellas Artes are especially beautiful.

A view of the gardens at Bellas Artes.

Another view of the gardens and fountain.


The tower in the background is part of the Iglesia de la Concepción, located behind Bellas Artes.


The dome of the Iglesia de la Concepción seen here is one of the largest domes in Mexico. It was completed in 1891 and is two stories high. Inspired by Paris's dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, Ceferino Gutiérrez, the architect of La Parroquía, is credited with its design.

There were murals on the walls of the stairwells of Bellas Artes. This mural depicts the textile arts.

Another mural depicting the musical arts.

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All photos on this site copyright 2008 by Tara Guthrie.