Adolf Mas. The eyes of Barcelona

FEB.18.2022           MAY.15.2022

The eyes of Barcelona

Adolf Mas Ginestà
View from Puerta del Ángel , 1902
© Fundació Institut Amatller d’Art Hispànic



FEB.18.2022         MAY.15.2022


KBr Photography Center
Avenida Litoral, 30 – 08005 Barcelona

Tel: +34 93 272 31 80

Opening times:
Until March 30:
Mondays (except holidays): Closed.
Tuesday to Sundays (and holidays): 11 am – 7 pm

From April 1:
Mondays (except holidays): Closed.
Tuesday to Sundays (and holidays): 11 am – 8 pm

December 25th, January 1st and 6th

Limited opening hours:
December 24th and 31th, January 5th: 11 am – 3 pm

*The evacuation of the hall starts 10 minutes before closing time. Last access (6:30 pm – 7:30 pm) only allows a 20 minutes tour to the exhibitions.

How to arrive

Buses: 59, 136, V21, V27, H16, 47, V23

Subway: Line 4 and Line 1

Bicycle racks: 396; 397


Available online in Spanish, Catalan and English. Accessible via mobile without downloads or installations.

Also available in audio device obtainable in the hall (if available).

Price: €4


Ramp for wheelchair access – The three floors of the hall are accessed by a generously-sized elevator.


Locker Service.


KBr Bookstore by Juan Naranjo.

librerí / Telf. (+34) 933 568 021

Born in Solsona (Lérida) on September 28, 1860, Adolf Mas moved to Barcelona shortly before 1890. He left his hometown and a job as a solicitor for an uncertain future in the big city and initially made a niche for himself in the textile industry. A few years later he frequented the local Els Quatre Gats, where he established relationships with intellectuals and artists of the time. After his training as a photographer, in 1901 he founded his first establishment selling photographic material, which would become, a few years later, the “Estudio de Fotografía A. Mas”, the predecessor of “Archivo Mas”.

Mas established himself as the photographer of reference for architects such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who hired him to photograph their buildings as an inventory. The author produced a wide range of reports, most notably images of the Sagrada Familia.

A pioneer of photojournalism in Catalonia at the beginning of the 20TH century, his commissioned portraits for illustrated magazines are an extraordinary record of the intellectual circles of the time. From 1910 onwards, his production focused on recording artistic and monumental heritage, especially after being commissioned to compile an iconographic catalogue of Spain in 1915. His work therefore focused on the administration of a powerful archival structure for public consultation which, in 1936, the year of his death, contained approximately 100,000 negatives.

Curator: Carmen Perrotta

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Adolf Mas. The eyes of Barcelona

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Online tickets sale will be available from February 1


Ticket PLUS

  • TICKET and AUDIO GUIDE for Adolf Mas. The eyes of Barcelona and Lee Friedlander. The audio guide is accessible online, from the Smartphone, without downloads or installations. An audio device can also be requested in the room (if available).
  • Price: GENERAL PLUS: €9. REDUCED PLUS: €7. Tuesdays (except holidays): €4.
  • Does not include headphones. You can add them (€1) during the online purchase or at the ticket office. For sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.


  • Access to Adolf Mas. The eyes of Barcelona and Lee Friedlander.
  • General admission: €5. Reduced ticket beneficiaries: €3.
  • Free Access (€0): Tuesdays (except holidays).

The beneficiaries of free admission must obtain their ticket at the ticket office in the room.

Commented Tour

  • An approach to the exhibition keys from the hand of our cultural mediators.
  • No additional cost upon ticket. Information at reception desk.
  • Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays: 4-7 pm | Fridays and Saturdays: 12-2 pm and 4-7 pm. | Sundays and Hollidays: 12-2 pm.

MAPFRE Clients

  • MAPFRE offers to its policyholders 2 free tickets (4 if Platinum Client) to visit Lee Friedlander and Adolf Mas. The eyes of Barcelona, on the date they choose.
  • To obtain courtesy tickets of MAPFRE, access the online ticket office and follow the purchase process. Before payment, the program will request your ID and will automatically activate the free tickets that correspond to you.
  • You can also get them at the ticket office in the room, presenting your ID.
  • Invitations must be used in a single visit.
  • Any question you have, please check these simple Instructions.

Collaborating Entities

  • If you belong to any of the entities that collaborate with Fundación MAPFRE, you must obtain your reduced ticket (€ 1 or €3) at the ticket office in the room.


  • If you have already purchased a ticket and want to add the audio guide, you can purchase it individually. Price: 4 €
  • The audio guide is accessible online, from your Smartphone, without downloads or installations. An audio device can also be requested in the room (if available).
  • Does not incluye headphones. You can add them (€1) during the online purchase or at the ticket office. For sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.


  • It's mandatory for the group to have a guide or person in charge. To request a guide from the Foundation, ask please for information and rates to:
  • The group must be made up of a minimum of 6 people. Currently, and due to health prevention measures, the maximum number of members (guide included) is 15 pax.
  • Wednesdays: 4 pm - 4:30 pm - 5 pm.
  • The formalization of the reservation implies the acceptance of these Rules for external groups.



Educational activities for schools are developed entirely in Spanish or Catalan. If you are interested please consult sections Colegios y Familias (spanish) or Col·legis i Families (catalan).


Educational activities for families are developed entirely in Spanish or Catalan. If you are interested please consult sections Colegios y Familias (spanish) or Col·legis i Families (catalan).


  • All tickets allow access to all two exhibitions.
  • Tickets changes or returns are not allowed except for justified force majeure.
  • Due to conservation needs, the rooms maintain a constant temperature of 21º, so it is possible that during the visit it is convenient to bring some light warm clothing.
  • Fundación MAPFRE is not responsible for the rates, schedules and other information applied on the websites of other entities where tickets for their exhibitions can be purchased.

The exhibition Adolf Mas. Los ojos de Barcelona traces the work of this key figure in Catalan noucentista photography, through 200 photographs and diverse documentary material, divided into four thematic sections that deal with the central aspects of his career.

The central core of the exhibition features the photographs taken by the author in the context of Barcelona. Adolf Mas captures the architectural, social and cultural changes of the city in images that interweave a documentary record with the aesthetic lines of contemporary European artistic tendencies: a Barcelona of contrasts, stratified between the barraca shacks in the suburbs and the mansions of the Eixample, between the luxurious cafés in the center for the pleasure of the bourgeoisie and the shantytowns built by beggars in Barceloneta.

The exhibition is part of the program that Fundación MAPFRE has initiated in Barcelona in collaboration with Catalan institutions that house a rich photographic heritage. On this occasion, the exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the Fundació Institut Amatller d’Art Hispànic. We have also benefited from the generosity of the Diputació de Barcelona. Arxiu General; Biblioteca de Catalunya. Barcelona; the Arxiu Històric de la Ciutat de Barcelona; the Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona. Barcelona City Hall; the MAE-Institut del Teatre; and the Familia Pasans Bertolin private collection, who have altruistically lent their works.

Archivo Mas: created by Adolf Mas in 1900 for the purpose of inventorying the iconographic catalog of Catalonia and, subsequently, the whole of Spain, this is the most important photographic archive in Europe on Spanish heritage. A monumental work developed over more than thirty years in which an avant-garde idea, conceived originally for commercial purposes, materialized without losing sight of the importance of documenting and disseminating a shared cultural heritage. After the Spanish Civil War, the Archivo Mas was acquired by Teresa Amatller in 1941, and is now part of the holdings of the Institut Amatller d’Art Hispànic.

Els Quatre Gats: on June 12, 1897, Els Quatre Gats, designed by a young Josep Puig i Cadafalch, opened its doors on the first floor of the Casa Martí on Carrer Montsió in Barcelona. A famous café that was modeled after Le Chat Noir in Paris, as intended by its founders: Ramon Casas, Pere Romeu, Santiago Rusiñol and Miquel Utrillo. Over the six year period that it was active, the celebrated café was a landmark in Catalan modernism. A catalyst of ideas and trends in Barcelona’s artistic and intellectual scene, the place was frequented by figures such as Antoni Gaudí, Isidre Nonell and Pablo Picasso. Adolf Mas documented its interior from 1900 onwards and forged important links with the artists associated with the establishment, in particular with Ramon Casas, whose friendship would continue over the years.

Artistic competition on old Barcelona: in 1908, the construction of the future Via Laietana, foreseen by the great urban reform implemented by the “Pla Cerdà” plan, led to the demolition of a densely populated area in Barcelona’s old town. The city council, at the request of the Barcelona artists’ union, organized a competition to document the architectural heritage destined to be torn down. The initiative was very successful and 38 series of drawings and photographs were submitted. Adolf Mas was one of the most decorated artists. His images, reminiscent of Eugène Atget’s photographs of Old Paris, show the presence of people who humanize the architectural vistas, in a clear attempt to dignify the history of those buildings, as well as their inhabitants, in the face of their imminent disappearance.

Photographs of spectacle: within the framework of his activity as a portraitist, Mas developed a range of works specifically linked to the show business sector. Examples of this activity include the reports made between 1914 and 1915 dedicated to two iconic figures of the time: the dancer Tórtola Valencia (1882-1955) and the soprano María Barrientos (1884-1946). The spectacular nature of the images in these series, in which technical execution and the charisma of the artists themselves are undoubtedly fundamental, is highlighted by a striking chromaticism that references an interest in the exotic.

If you would like to contact the Communication Department to request the press dossier, high-resolution images or for any other matter, please complete the form below, giving the name of the medium/media for which you require this information.

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