Like many Argentine museums, Parque Lezama ’s Museo Histórico has undergone an overhaul for Argentina’s 2010 bicentennial, with new and surprisingly evenhanded material on Peronism (note Juan Perón’s Grundig tape recorder, which he used to communicate to his faithful), the state terror of the Dirty War, and the 1980s democratic restoration.
There are also thematic exhibits, such as early daguerreotypes of famous but also anonymous figures from early-19th-century Argentina, that border on a social history that’s often overlooked in museums of this sort. More conventionally, there’s a re-creation of liberator José de San Martín’s French bedroom-in-exile, portrait galleries of figures such as San Martín and independence intellectual Mariano Moreno, and massive oils that romanticize the brutal Patagonian campaigns of General Julio Argentino Roca.
The building itself is a well-kept landmark whose subterranean gallery hosts special exhibits and occasional concerts. The Museo Histórico (Defensa 1600, tel. 011/4307-1182, informes [at] mhn [dot] gov [dot] ar, free) is open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday.