Museo Pedro de Osma of Barranco, Lima, Peru Review —peek into Peru’s cultures

Museo de Pedro de Osmo of BARRANCO Lima Peru provides a compact intro to Peruvian cuture through religious art & a special Andean exhibit

Barranco Lima PERU
The mansion and grounds of Museo Pedro de Osmo are elegant

Editor's Note:  Read more about Barranco, where Museo Pedro de Osma is located here.

Museo Pedro de Osma Elegance

As you travel beyond Lima on your Peru tour, expect to savor all that you had learned in Barranco’s elegant Museo Pedro de Osma.

At the time of this writing, finding the museum in the jungle of sidewalk and road work is a challenge. Perhaps though, the cacophony of infrastructure improvements surrounding it makes it easier to instantly appreciate the building’s gracefulness.

The route through the permanent exhibit’s galleries takes you on more or less of a chronological tour of religious art sponsored by the Catholic Church in Peru. You get a short course that helps you identify what you later see in churches beyond Lima, starting with the stilted Mannerist style paintings, symbolism of angels and archangels, artistic interpretations of many saints, and in one of the final galleries in the permanent exhibit, portraiture of Inca royalty mixing it up with their Spanish Conquerors that may be downright confusing to someone who is just beginning to learn the A-Z of Inca times.

First and foremost, these works are beautiful, and made all the more so in the museo’s magnificent setting. It’s not a large museum, and you might feel the same if you were spending time in the home of a very wealthy art collector, except without furniture.

Barranco Lima PERU
Virgin of the Rosary of Pomata, second third of 18th Century, Anonymous
Barranco PERU
Archangel Raphael, First of third of 18th Century, Anonymous
Barranco Lima PERU
The sculpture galllery

When you venture into the sculpture gallery, the realistic yet sometimes caricatured visages impress you with their personalities. You feel like you are with people, not just representations.

As lush and plush as the main building feels, it certainly is just a teaser for the opulent silver works that follow. The detailing in the silver exhibit, and the sheer size of the collection in this separate gallery, is in itself worth visiting.

Barranco Lima PERU
An exquisitely intricate armadillo

But perhaps it is the special exhibit of art from the Andean peoples and the reason why it is there, that is the most significant aspect of what you first learn here that is amplified as you continue to tour Peru. Struggling to find the right English words, a museum staff member explained that this exhibit was prompted in response to the “people” wanting to have the real Andean cultures represented in the museum. It might strike you too that this explanation is an abbreviated reference to a Peruvian culture war we as outsiders have difficulty in grasping.

You’ll find this special exhibit in a separate annex.   From pottery, to weapons, to tools, to jewelry, and more—the great effort made by the curators to capture the Andean peoples’ aesthetic through history is apparent. Though small, as all of the galleries are, this exhibit seems to be a very good sampling. You get a feel for what Inca and pre-Inca cultural expressions felt like.

What a perfect introduction to a Peru tour, and especially if paired with Barranco’s two other museums MATE and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo!

Barranco Lima PERU
On the free museum night, the grounds behind the mansion housing permanent exhibits opened up for festivities for a large crowd
Barranco Lima PERU
The museum staff brought ornate chairs out to the grounds for people to rest during the festival, They looked to be pure gold, like the exhibits within the museum. (They were not.)

Right-sized such that you can give all three of these museums their due in one day, they begin to orient you to Peru’s culture and history. Museo Pedro de Osma is perhaps a best first window on what it means to be in a country that is about 90% Catholic yet many also still practicing Andean religious customs. This seems to be something that someone outside the culture will never quite fully “get”. Rather, we glimpse it —in these Museo Pedro de Osma collections and the choices made in what to exhibit.


Tuesday to Sunday     10:00 hrs - 18:00 hrs

Guided Tour Schedule

  • 10:30 am
  • 11:45 am
  • 1:00 pm    (Sundays not available)
  • 2:15 pm
  • 3:30 pm
  • 4:45 pm



Pedro de Osma Avenue 421


Lima, Peru




In Soles (S) – Peruvian money


General Entrance                                                     S/ 20.00

Students with ID                                                      S/ 10.00

Retirees                                                                   S/ 10.00

Double ticket MATE-Museo de Osma                    S/. 24.00

Triple ticket MAC-MATE-Museo de Osma            S/. 32.00


For more information visit the Museo Pedro de Osmo website


Read about the part of Lima where Museo Pedro de Osma is -- Barranco Launch of Peru Tour –Charming Corner of Lima

Click here for more Picture this Post travel stories by Amy Munice with photography by Peter Kachergis.


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