Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Coming Ho Chi Minh City, foreign tourists are particularly interested in Uncle Hoa House a unique architectural work. Today, this palace functions as the Fine Arts Museum which is one of Top 12 museums in Ho Chi Minh City and worth a visit.

General information

Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:00 daily (from 10th June 2019)

Address: 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It is only a few hundred meters from Ben Thanh Market, Independence Palace or Saigon Notre Dame Cathedal and Ho Chi Minh City Museum.

Entrance fee: 30,000 VND

Website: https://baotangmythuattphcm.vn

Phone: +84 8 38.294.441 or +84 8 38.216.331

Email: btmthcm@hotmail.com

Location

Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum is located at 97 Pho Duc Chinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, in the middle of four streets: Pho Duc Chinh, Le Thi Hong Gam, Calmette and Nguyen Thai Binh, near Ben Thanh Market.

Entrance ticket at Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Entrance ticket at Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

History

The building of the museum was designed by Mr. Mirera, a French Architect in 1929 and completed in 1934. The owner of this building is Mr. Hui Bon Hoa (1845-1901), a wealthy and famous trader of old Saigon land.  He is also the owner of many other famous works such as Majestic Hotel, Tu Du Hospital, Saigon Emergency Center, Phung Son Pagoda. In 1987, the building was used as Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, but due to lack of artifacts, it was not put into operation until 1992.

Architecture

There are 3 buildings in the middle of a large campus. The outdoor display area has an area of 2600m2, the inside display area of the main building has an area of 2900 m2, 2 other buildings have display areas of more than 4,000 m2.

The main gate and Building 1 of Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

The main gate and Building 1 of Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

The 1st building (main building) of the museum, with a letter U shaped design, has 3 floors made of concrete material and the thickness is 40-60cm. The building has 99 doors and windows. It looks rather majestic but friendly because of the graceful motifs and patterns and gentle colors.

The building architecture is a harmonious combination of Western architecture and Eastern architecture. The details are bold West like the concrete balconies, the curling iron staircases, the floor covered with flower bricks, the stairs covered with marble, some windows set with colorful glass. The details are bold East like the red yin and yang tiles, the roof decorated with ceramics, the two main doors having parallel sentences, the upper part of each window having a circle frame in the middle with a swastika.

Especially in the building, there is a wooden elevator and this is one of the buildings in Saigon with an elevator. Through nearly 100 years, the building architecture is nearly intact. It is massive, magnificent like a castle. The house has contributed to making Saigon become “the pearl of the far east” before.

Building 1 - main building of Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Building 1 – main building of Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Window shutters, balconies, pillars, tiles with graceful motifs and patterns and gentle colors

The second building

The third building

Artifact Displaying

The museum has over 20,000 artifacts that cover paintings and sculptures having great value about history and art, related to famous authors.

Plan of Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Plan of Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Sculptural exhibition area

In the large garden displays about 20 sculptures by Vietnamese sculptors: Diep Minh Chau, Le Van Mau, Tran Van Lam, Nguyen Hai, Nguyen Thi Thu Hue, Mai Chung, etc.

Sculptural exhibition area - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Stone “Women & 2 kids” sculpture & Bronze “The people of Phu Loi oppose the enemy” (1959) by Diep Minh Chau (1919 – 2002)

Building 1 – Main building

The main building has 4 floors, every floor has a function as follows:

  • The ground floor: used as a working office and a painting display room, an art shop, an area for visitors to write their testimonials.
  • The first floor: modern arts after 1975.
  • The second floor: modern arts after 1975, art works from the revolutionary period, national precious artwork, art works of foreign artists.
  • The third floor: art works by the artists from the Indochina fine arts college and Gia Dinh fine arts school, modern arts before 1975.

The ground floor

Century kiss - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Century kiss – curved aluminium by Phan Quan Dung (1957) on first floor of main building

Saint Giong - Lacquer on wood - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Saint Giong – Lacquer on wood by Ngo Quang Nam (1942) on first floor of main building

Bronze "Spirituality" artwork - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Bronze “Spirituality” artwork by artist Ta Quang Bao (1941) on the second floor of the main building

Art shop - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Art shop where visitors can buy paintings including Vietnamese traditional Dong Ho paintings, post cards and other souvenirs

The second floor

Central South and North Spring Garden by artist Nguyen Gia Tri - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Central South and North Spring Garden by artist Nguyen Gia Tri – Lacquer on wood – National treasure on the second floor of the main building

Paintings of Le Thi Luu artist - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

2 paintings of Le Thi Luu artist: “Mother carrying child in her backpack” – silk pasted on paper & “Mountain girl” – Silk painting the third floor of the main building

Building 2

In Building 2, there are areas for special exhibition from the Museum’s collection, temporary special exhibition of artists and art works, a display of furniture belonging to the Building of the Fine Arts Museum, Projection room, Reading room.

Every year the Museum regularly organizes exhibitions of fine artworks of domestic and foreign organizations and individuals. Each year there are average from 10-25 exhibitions, including many international exhibitions: the anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, works of ASEAN countries, paintings of Russian, Chinese, American, Italian, Canadian, Japanese, Thai, Singaporean, Korea, Indonesia. The Fine Arts Museum has always supported the policy of propagating Vietnamese art to the world. The museum has sent some artifacts to China, Austria, Belgium, Japan, America, Singapore and so on.

Building 3

In Building 3, visitors can see fine arts in stone, ceramic, wood and bronze artifacts.

Statues in the 7-8th century in Vietnam - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Statues in the 7-8th century in Vietnam

ceramic artworks in building 3 Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Ceramic artworks

Wood artifacts - Fine Arts Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

Wooden altar, photo frame, base of incense burner, container, worship pedestal at the beginning of the 20th century

Basins, vessels, stools in elephant shapes

Basins, vessels, stools in elephant shapes in 19th century

Bronze incense burner, spherical, unicorn playing with a ball decorated in 19th century

Bronze incense burner, spherical, unicorn playing with a ball decorated in 19th century

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