Thursday, May 2, 2024

'Museo Evita' fascinates, taking tourists into colorful life of Eva Peron

A short pleasant walk from the hop on bus takes visitors to Museo Evita.
It's also an easy taxi ride from most of the centrally located hotels. 




STEPPING INTO the Evita Museum in Buenos Aires is a walk back in time to the days of glory for the woman whose life took on legendary proportions in Argentina. 

Known simply as "Museo Evita," the museum is in a building built in the early 20th century, designed as the home of a wealthy family. Before its incarnation as a museum, it housed administrative offices and earlier,  a shelter run by the internationally known personality who rose to fame and power although not elected to high office.

EVA DUARTE Peron's foundation acquired the stately home in 1948 to help needy women from all over Argentina. Social workers addressed their health and housing problems and proposed solutions.

The museum's gift shop offers mementos and
books, photographs and postcards of Evita's life.

EVA DIED in 1952 and after the Peron government was overthrown in 1955, the home served as an administrative venue. In 1999, it was transferred to the Eva Peron National Institute for Historical Research. The museum opened in 2002 for the 50th anniversary of Eva Peron's death. On a lovely spring day, we stepped inside the fascinating museum with Peron fans and curious tourists from all corners of the world. Many weren't born during Eva's lifetime, but knew the "Evita" story.

EVA DUARTE rose form the ranks of a humble rural family in the village of Los Toldos. She was born May 7, 1919, in a single-story brick house in the agricultural town 180 miles from the Argentine capital. With a gift for performance, she took her dreams of becoming an actor to Buenos Aires, and was playing bit parts when Argentina's Juan Domingo Perón,  met her. She caught his eye; the attraction was mutual. We enjoyed photos of them and displays of stunning dresses she wore at functions in Buenos Aires. The museum also features photos from her 1947 European tour, when she made headlines charming international leaders and even had an audience with Pope Pius XII.

Eva Peron and President
Juan Peron were married
in 1945.

Historian Santiago Regolo offers
insight into the popularity of
Eva Peron, known as Evita.
Social justice was her platform.
DESIGNER DRESSES of silk and taffeta are displayed with objects and mementos that belonged to Evita. Interactive exhibits focus on turning points in her life, including her career as an actress, her campaigning trips to elect Perón,  her devoted political and social work, her illness, death and funeral. Photos and films show her speaking to enthralled crowds, and offer insight into her massive appeal during Argentina's turbulent times of the 1940s and 1950s. Evita gave downtrodden people hope.
ARTISTIC CURATORS have woven contemporary objects into the museum's mix for a fascinating glimpse of Evita, her husband and the changing landscape of the country. After meeting then Colonel Perón in 1944 during a charity event at Luna Park Stadium, she became a tireless advocate for the poor.  That event benefited victims of an earthquake. The people she helped remembered her and voted for her husband. She was the first First Lady to actively campaign and beat the drum for her spouse.
Eva and Juan Peron at their country home.

THE BUILDING'S history begins with its tenure as a private home. The Perons acquired Casa Carabassa because of a mutual attraction to its French and Italian touches. To Eva, these flourishes suggested a boutique hotel. The Carabassa family had purchased it in 1923, adding their touches before it came to the attention of the Perons in 1948. After its tenure as a refuge for women, it evolved into today's unusual museum, which includes a room used by school children in an educational program. Their artwork leads to a pleasant café which offers both indoor and outdoor seating, a restful space to contemplate Eva Peron, surrounded by beautiful, mature trees, the song of birds and views of lovely gardens

A wealthy patrician family designed the elegant
home, now museum, more than 100 years ago.

The Peron family is still controversial in the country.  Some consider his rule to have been a dictatorship run by self-serving egotists. But Perón followers including historian and professor Santiago Regolo praise the couple's efforts to eliminate poverty and dignify labor.  One wonders: Were they inspired, generous leaders passionate for the poor, or the  demagogues their detractors claim them to be? Perhaps a bit of both.
Beautiful tiles, marble and iron can
be seen throughout the museum.

BUT THE popularity of Evita cannot be denied.  According to professor Regolo, "The Peróns gave their name to the political movement known as Peronism, which in present-day Argentina is represented mainly by the Justicialist Party. Eva's legacy lives on." The party personifies populism in the form of a strong charismatic leader, Regolo said. Argentina's present leader is not a follower of this movement.

Eva Peron, known to the people as
"Evita," was a model and actress
before rising to fame as First Lady.
EVA -- KNOWN as "Evita" -- has had a rebirth in popular culture and is known worldwide through the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The Tony winning play and subsequent movie trace her immense popularity,  particularly with working-class women. 
The intensity of the support she drew from the people is said to have surprised even Juan Perón himself, Regolo said. 
She used her power with lower economic classes to helped enact reforms and policies, and give women a footing they had not had in Argentina. She also helped bring about the passage of Argentina's women's suffrage law, Regolo added. 
Peron's first wife died of cancer, as did Evita.  He married a third time nine years after Evita's death in 1952.   
Museo Evita is well worth a visit whatever your politics, for insight into the life of a remarkable personality.
More information and tickets: 

Enjoying a morning at a Buenos Aires landmark, La Confiteria
Ideal, dating to 1912, are from left, Bruce Keller, Christene
"Cookie" Meyers and Rolando Ossowski. The cafe's remarkable
history includes notoriety as a tango performance spac
UP NEXT: Walk around the blocks with us in Buenos Aires. Come with us for a spectacular guided tour by a native son, Orlando Ossowski, whose knowledge of the city of his birth is extraordinary and detailed.  We'll wander through Buenos Aires with economist, opera aficionado, gourmand and history buff Rollando, visiting his favorite haunts including famous hotels, restaurants, government houses and a beloved bakery and restaurant, the elegant and historic Confiteria La Ideal. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on the arts, travel, performance, family and more: 





  1. Excited to see the museum next month. I am too young to remember her but love the movie.

  2. Buenos Aires Evita AdmirersMay 7, 2024 at 1:52 PM

    This is a fun piece about an important woman in an important time.