The Valparaíso Fine Arts Museum, which is housed in the beautiful Baburizza Palace, is an institution that watches over the care, protection and diffusion of the important pictorial collection that the city has been gathering since 1895, under the management of the great national expert Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma, and stands out among the four most important public art collections in Chile.
The Collection is composed by works done by great national artists, such as: Juan Francisco González, Pedro Lira, Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma and Nemesio Antúnez, to point out to some. Among these we can also highlight foreign precursors, including Thomas Jacques Somerscales, Johan Moritz Rugendas, Giovanni Mochi and Desiree Chassin Trubert.
There is also a collection of leading European artists who present the pictorial evolution of the 19th and 20th centuries. Authors such as Eugene Louis Boudin, Felix Ziem, Julio Romero de Torres, among others, swell the collection. The works of these last artists belonged to the personal heritage of paintings owned by Pascual Baburizza, a prominent businessman and philanthropist.
The Valparaíso Painting Museum, the first name with which it would be known, operated at the Victoria Theater until the 1906 earthquake. After that, the city was left without a museum. It is at the beginning of the 1940’s of the last century and at the initiative of the painter Camilo Mori and the writer Augusto D’Halmar, that the museum is re-founded with the name of the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts of Valparaíso.
It includes the paintings that had survived the first museum, the donation of Pascual Baburizza and those brought together by Mori and D’Halmar. With them the main collection was structured. This operated in various places until 1971, when it moved permanently to the Baburizza Palace.