The Maria Augusta Urrutia Museum
One often wonders what a city was like fifty years ago, how lifestyles have changed and sometimes we wish we were able to travel back in time to experience the past. In Quito, Ecuador, visitors are able to time travel by merely stepping inside the Maria Augusta Urrutia Museum. It is a window into the past and visitors often feel like the house came to a standstill in 1987. You almost expect to smell roasting coffee on the stove and a cheerful and elegant Maria Augusta Urrutia to come walking into the room. Amongst the hundreds of attractions in Ecuador, the Maria Augusta Urrutia Museum is truly unique in every way.
Maria Augusta Urrutia lived in this magnificent house from 1901, until her death in 1987. She was part of the elite, high-society of Quito, but made the choice to dedicate her life to charitable issues and was famous for her kindness and the assistance she lent to the street children. Adults viewed her as a great philanthropist, and the street children viewed her as a savior. A savior who was focused on their well-being, and remembered for her small, yet significant gestures, such as making ice cream for the children to enjoy on hot days. Even though many high ranking officials and famous leaders passed through the magnificent courtyard to meet with Maria Augusta Urrutia, the museum only reflects the gentle, loving and caring personality of Maria.
Inside the museum, visitors will see many personal items, such as her hair brush, clothing, letters and diaries. Family photos are visible throughout the house, as are the many paintings that Maria Augusta Urrutia collected. The largest collection of Victor Mideros paintings in Quito can be viewed here, as Maria was a great fan of his work. Beautiful sculptures adorn the museum and compliment the spacious layout of the house. From a full bathroom, wood burning stove, stained glass, murals, hand-painted wallpaper and immaculate antique furniture, the museum is a wonderful example of the lifestyle of the 1900s.
Attractions such as the Maria Augusta Urrutia Museum should be enjoyed and appreciated and visitors should set aside at least an hour to explore the museum. Guides are able to give tours in English, if requested, and notice boards throughout the museum tell the life story of one of Quito’s most loved residents. Visitors can also enjoy a light meal and refreshments at the restaurant, while taking in the splendor of a home that was once filled with compassion and a museum that is keeping the memory and work of Maria Augusta Urrutia alive.