AAA Editor Notes
Rafael Coronel Museum (Museo Rafael Coronel) is n. of the cathedral via Calle Abasolo to Calle San Francisco. It is housed in the 18th-century Convento de San Francisco, abandoned as a convent in 1857. The building's exterior is a mellowed pink, and flowering plants fill the gardens in the interior courtyard.
On display in large, high-ceilinged galleries is an amazing collection of several thousand masks from all over Mexico, donated by Rafael Coronel, younger brother of Pedro. They depict saints as well as grotesque-looking, devilish figures, conquistadores and bizarrely imaginative animals. Entirely handmade and decorated with everything from human hair and glitter to steel wool and bones, the masks are a remarkable testament to Mexican artistic ingenuity. There also are impressive dioramas of puppets engaged in such activities as warfare, a bullfight and a wedding, all created by a family of puppet makers from Huamantla, Tlaxcala.