Contributed by Marieke White
On a weekend excursion this weekend, we had the pleasure of visiting the most incredible place! Casa de los Venados in Valladolid. This is 400 year old 18,000 sq. ft. private home/museum of Mexican folk and contemporary art owned by an American couple who spent nearly 10 years renovating this masterpiece of colonial architecture. There are over 3,000 pieces of art in this collection which is one of the most comprehensive and extensive collections of Mexican art in private hands.
The owners John and Dorianne Venator personally showed us around on an amazing tour of their beautiful home. Their passion for Mexican art and the incredible restoration of the property is clear as John explains the fascinating origins of many of the paintings, murals, and crafted pieces decorating their home. Everything is a work of art, right down to the crockery in the kitchen and the details and design in the bathrooms.
Casa de los Venados has won a number of both national and international architectural awards which is a testament to a decade of hard work and love put into it by the Venators. They tell us that “A house is a hobby.” But you can see that this home and collection is much, much, more than that.
John and Dorianne Venator are now opening their home for the public to experience, for the modest donation of MX$60 or US$5 per person, of which all proceeds are donated directly to the Charitable Foundation for the Arts and Educational Trust, which is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 organization recognized by the US IRS. Casa de los Venados has also hosted a number of high-end dinners, fashion shows, live music concerts, and corporate events for us to 200 people.
A truly special place! We would like to thank John and Dorianne for showing us their wonderful home, and for also sharing this incredible and important collection of Mexican art to the public! If you have even the vaguest interest in art and/or architecture, then this is an absolute must see! You’ll be walking around in jaw-dropping awe!