The origin of the Museum of Guayaquil belongs to patriot Pedro Carbo Noboa, according to the official website (www.museodeguayaquil.com), who founded the Industry Museum on May 1, 1863, which exhibited a display of the technological advances of the time.
The current Museum was established on August 9, 1909, through Municipal Ordinance presided by Armando Pareja Coronel. It had historical character with a section dedicated to the history of the country and other to science and art, which implied the transformation of the Industry Museum. Its first director was Camilo Destruge Illingworth who also was the director of the Municipal Library.
The Museum was officially called “Museo Municipal El Industrial de la Biblioteca Edilicia” and it was located at the chalet of Dr. Mario Morla; it had a collection of more than 1.000 archeological, colonial art and numismatic pieces.
The Museum had its own building on August 10, 1916, which was made of wood and designed by Portuguese architect Raul Maria Pereira. The building was demolished in 1939; therefore, the Museum was moved to the Municipal Palace for 13 years.
On October 8, 1958, the current building was inaugurated during the administration of major Luis Robles Plaza, which was designed by engineer Miguel Salem Dibo.
In 1992, during the first administration of Leon Febres-Cordero, the Museum was remodeled. In 2008 it was restored again under the process or urban regeneration carried out by major Jaime Nebot. Currently, the collection is formed by more than 12.000 pieces.
The mural of the main façade worked in glazed ceramic and corrugated iron rods by artist from Guayaquil Jorge Swett; the Manteño-Huancavilva culture chairs that are located at the entrance; the vehicle that belonged to Pedro Carbo Noboa, considered a classic within the automotive industry; the pre-Hispanic pieces and the old octagonal windows that remain in the Museum.
The pre-Hispanic room is another attraction, which exhibits the development of the people of the Coast; also an anthropomorphic stone monolith that has been in exhibition since the inauguration, the bronze bust to general Antonio Jose de Sucre, and a Guasango wood Totem of 32 carved figures that was found in Las Negras Hill and located in the hall of the Museum.
The museum also offers diverse archeological exhibitions with approximately 2.000 objects that belonged to the pre-Columbian cultures of the coast and the sierra; art collections and objects from the time of the colony like paintings, portraits, coins, and medallions, among others.
The Museum has the following rooms: Ground floor: Pre-Hispanic, Hispanic, Colony, Independence, Republic, XX Century and the Presidents room. Top floor: Multipurpose, Contemporary Art, the Auditorium, Religious Art, Numismatic and the room for temporary exhibitions and technical reserve of the Museum.
Pre-Hispanic Room: Beautiful objects are exhibited in this room, most of them made of ceramic, metal and stone. The period called “Formative” lasted for 3.000 years, from 3.500 B.C. until 500 B.C. Took the name from the aborigine groups that inhabited the ancient Ecuadorian territory, which achieved important advances in agriculture that allowed them to build a stable, settled and organized society.
This society also had an aesthetic development in ceramic, as well as other handicrafts. The formative cultures of the coast were: Valdivia, Machalilla and Chorrera.
Colonial Room: The birth title of our city and the truth about its name are exhibited in this room; also the first contact between the natives of the Gulf of Guayaquil and the Spanish navigators, which happened in 1526, when the rafts of the Puna people led by Chief Tumbala intercepted the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro.
The room also exhibits Spanish firearms, a diorama from the old church of Santo Domingo, the layouts of Guayaquil traced between 1170 and 1772 by Francisco Requena and Ramon Garcia de Leon y Pizarro, and a scale model of the city made by architect Parsival Castro according to a sketch made in 1858 by Manuel Villavicencio.
Religious Art Room: Through human history, art has been an important ally to different religions, providing several styles, shapes and expressions to transmit their dogmas. In this room there is an exhibition of mystic scenes comprised by religious paintings from the churches of Guayaquil; icons and archetypes of sacred art, and sculptures crafted by colonial artists like Diego Robles.
Numismatic Room: Before the creation of coins as means of trade, a barter system was used to perform commercial transactions. The system changed as a result of the specialization of labor and the changing social structures in formation. The obsolescence of the system led the peoples to create a unique element, whose exchange value allowed them to acquire goods and services.