top of page

Galería de Arte Infantil, Casa Paoli


What is the Casa Paoli ?

This elegant and stately 19th century building, located in the scenic city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is the restored residence of the great Puerto Rican tenor Antonio Paoli, "the tenor of kings and the king of tenors"—in his time, an artist admired around the world.


The historic building is part of the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and is one of the most important places to visit in the southwestern area of the island. It was the birthplace of tenor Antonio Paoli (1871–1946), an artist recognized as the "first Puerto Rican to achieve international recognition in the performing arts" and "one of the most outstanding opera singers of all time." Casa Paoli was the artist's home as a child, and the place where he lived with his family until he was twelve years old.


After its restoration in1987, the building was transformed into a house-museum to honor his memory. It also became the home of the Puerto Rican Center for Folkloric Research.

In 2009, it was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. The maintenance and restoration of this great site has been the arduous work of a small group of citizens that are proud of the musical and folkloric legacy of their country. They have managed to create an impressive cultural center, home to not only several fascinating exhibitions, workshops and public activities, but also replete with historical archives that have formed the basis of numerous important publications on the life and work of great island artists, and on the island's musical genres and folklore.

Casa Paoli currently houses the Puerto Rican Folkloric Research Center, Inc. [Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc.] and a regional center of the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Humanities. It is sponsored by the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts.

Hear a décima sung by troubadour, Cándida Colón from Villalba, Puerto Rico. The décimas poetry extols the value and importance of the Casa Paoli to Puerto RIcan culture.

"The Center has distinguished itself by creating and implementing highly effective innovative projects. Likewise, it has been characterized for the promotion of research and study in neglected or under-served areas, serving as a forum for groups that do not have the support from other institutions. "                                                                                    La Perla del Sur Newspaper  2/6/2013

Current activities

Click on each topic to receive more information

  1. We have just completed our first ebook on aspects of music and musical instruments of Puerto Rico

  2. Presentation and distribution of a new method of Jazz theory for the cuatro Puerto Rican

  3. Driving the activities of a commemorative commission of the sesquicentennial of the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico 

  4. Project Rescue from Oblivion: recreating missing Caribbean musical instruments.

  5. Establishment of a virtual store of publications of the Center online

  6. Diffusion of our new video documentary of the history of the Puerto Rican tiple

  7. Dissemination of our new video-manual of the construction of a Puerto Rican tiple

In focus:

New Center publication

Screenshot 2023-12-05 at 5.39.24 PM.png


In its efforts to continue contributing to the dissemination and enrichment of our cultural values, the Casa Paoli of the Folklore Research Center of Puerto Rico, Inc. has begun the publication of a series of books inspired by musicians and their work throughout history. musical of our country.

The first volume, now available in bookstores under the suggestive title of Puerto Rico Musical under the authorship, editing or supervision of the retired university professor, the historian Néstor Murray-Irizarry, aims to continue providing new titles to the private, public and private libraries of the nation.

The first volume contains articles and essays that Professor Murray-Irizarry wanted to leave on the table dedicated to: the Synopsis on the development of musical hobby in Puerto Rico; Juan Morel Campos with the collaboration of Rossana Duchesne; Federico Ramos Escalera; Simon Wood; Antonio Paoli and Marcano; Domingo Cruz (Cocolía); Juan Narciso Ríos Rodríguez; Elio Adriano Llorens Rivero; Juan Ríos Ovalle; Julio Alvarado Tricoche; Mercedes Arias; Francisco (Paco) Cortes González; From hymns and other memories and Praise to our traditional musical instruments


Casa Paoli
starts a traveling exhibition
of ancient Puerto Rican musical instrument replicas

Replicas of an antique cuatro and a small 19th century bordonúa recreated by artisan William Cumpiano for the Casa Paoli collection of native instruments

Recently the Puerto Rico Folkloric Research Center, Inc. at Casa Paoli inaugurated the first phase of a series of events related to the traveling exhibition of replicas of ancient musical instruments of Puerto Rico, titled "Rescue from Oblivion." The first exhibit stop opened at the library of the Ponce Art Museum. The exhibition includes the exhibition of several replicas - cuatros, tiples dolientes, tiples requintos and mandonuas - of the traditional musical instruments of our country that in 1888 were taken from Puerto Rico to Germany and in 1898 to Washington. For more informationClick here.

Additional features


Musicos nativos circa 1899 Ponce Beckwith 2.jpg

It is our effort to bring to public view the traditional musical instruments of the past that have disappeared from the sight and memory of the peoples of the Caribbean. Three experts in performance, craftsmanship, and musical history have dedicated themselves to discovering and creating replicas of lost and forgotten instruments once heard in many of the country's cities and fields, as well as undertaking the effort to recreate the music and the technique of execution of said instruments.

Commemorative commission

celebrating the Sesquicentennial of

the Abolition of Slavery 

in Puerto Rico (1873-2023)

Screen Shot 2022-03-23 at 4.30.36 PM.png

The Center has brought together a group of leaders, artists, musicians, humanists and scholars in a Commemorative Commission of the Sesquicentennial of the Abolition of Slavery in Puerto Rico. The Commission has created a work plan that includes talks, concerts, seminars, exhibitions, publications, symposiums on the contribution of Afro-descendant Puerto Ricans to the arts, education, the economy, historical research, cinema, radio, television, politics, literature and other fields of knowledge.

Upcoming Workshops

Taller WRC para las Artes logo HORIZ.jpg

Since its founding, the Center has been dedicated to researching, enriching and disseminating Puerto Rican cultural values. The sheer number of events and editions carried out by the Center bear this out. One of our most important objectives is to raise awareness and provide our youths and adults with the opportunity to learn to build the traditional instruments of our country. Currently, the Center organizes the William Cumpiano Workshop at the facilities of our headquarters in Ponce; where with the support of the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts, workshops will be offered, in face-to-face or virtual form, in instrument-making, screen printing and engraving on wood and linoleum.

Antonio Paoli and Family

Paoli 1.png

Casa Paoli, the headquarters of the Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc., is a historic building that is part of the Historic Zone of Ponce. It is the place where Antonio Paoli (1871-1946) was born and lived until the age of twelve; the great tenor who was "the first Puerto Rican to achieve international recognition in the performing arts" and "one of the most outstanding opera singers of all time." View out page dedicated to Antonio Paoli by clicking on his image above.

Large commemorative banner created for the Center


A large educational banner commemorating the sesquicentennial (150 years) of the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico has been created for the Center by the renowned New York visual artist Perla de Leon, a work that will be installed on a wall in view of a of the main streets of the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The banner displays for city passersby a list of the most important dates in the history of slavery and its abolition in Puerto Rico, along with old important documents related to slavery and faces of twenty prominent Puerto Ricans of African descent.

OIGAN A NUESTRO DIRECTOR explicar las razones por la creación de la comisión durante una reciente entrevista radial por WPAB Radio 550 Ponce

bottom of page