The Santa Teresa y San Jose’s Carmelitas Descalzas’s Monastery, from Arequipa, was founded in 1710, and since then remains in life, hosting a Community of Contemplative Nuns. In its more than 300 years of existence, the Monastery has been treasuring paintings, sculptures, furniture, metalwork, decorative arts, textiles, beautiful murals and objects of daily use from different periods, origins and artistic styles.
In 2005, the Community of nuns decided to open a part of the monastery as Museum of Viceregal Art, exhibiting hundreds of objects of its valuable collection in 13 spaces of the old Cloister of the Offices. The Museum is thematic in most of its Exhibition Halls and is also a living museum, since several of the objects and environments are still used as they were more than 3 centuries ago: at midday some spaces are closed momentarily, so that the nuns can touch the 3 bells of the Angelus prayer and pray-singing-this and other community prayers. The public can not see them, but they can see the ringing of the bells and then they can hear, through the door, the singing of the nuns. A unique experience.
The Museum has an exclusive Room of Interpretation of the Virceregal Art, the one that shows step by step which were the local techniques of Century XVIII to apply the gold bread, to make the mural painting, to make sculptures and to decorate furniture
Undoubtedly, the Museum offers the richest and best exposed display of artistic objects from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, from Peru.