Guillermo Tovar de Teresa (1956–2013) was a Mexican historian, and a promoter and defender of Ibero-American cultural heritage.
At 12 years of age, he became an adviser on viceregal art for the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico.
Guillermo Tovar saw collecting as an exercise in selection: it required good judgment and understanding of the symbolic significance of objects.
In 1995, he purchased a Porfirian mansion (from the period when General Porfirio Díaz ruled Mexico) at 52 Calle Valladolid, in the Colonia Roma area of Mexico City. He lived there from 1997 until his death in 2013.
With a facade that is attributed to Gustavo Peñasco, its interior was designed by engineer Manuel Francisco Álvarez in 1911. The architecture is typical of single-family living spaces from the end of the Porfiriato era.
Roberto J. Álvarez lived there in 1911 and it was soon sold to the family of Manuel González, who was president of Mexico from 1880 to 1884.
Every room was renovated in 19th-century style, with objects from New Spain and Mexico.
The focal point in the Yellow Room is the oil painting of a mother and daughter wearing imperial-style clothing.
The miniature that can be seen in the painting became part of Guillermo Tovar de Teresa's collection some time afterward.
A room full of marvels lined with damask, it is one of the most regal sitting rooms in the house, with viceregal works dating from the 16th to the 18th century.
Each room offers a glimpse into history through reference and feeling: mysticism, devotion, and a deep respect for Mexican history.
The most distinguished artists come together in this collection, including Pereyns, Lagarto, Juárez, Echave Rioja, Cabrera, Páez, Rugendas, Pingret, and Arrieta.
This was one of the first works to join Guillermo Tovar's collection. As he lacked the space to put this large piece on display, he decided to sell it. At the end of his life, he managed to recover it.
His libraries, photograph compilations, and archives make up one of the most important collections in Latin America, now digitalized by the Carlos Slim Foundation. More than 20 million volumes offer an insight into Guillermo Tovar's interests.
A self-portrait by Édouard Henri Théophile Pingret (1788–1875) is one of the most important oil paintings in the gallery.
Guillermo de Tovar de Teresa died on November 10, 2013.
Today, his legacy is shared by Museo Soumaya, Carlos Slim Foundation.
Casa Guillermo Tovar de Teresa. Fundación Carlos Slim.