Deadline approaching! ICOM-ICDAD is hosting a virtual conference (previously scheduled to take place in Lisbon) on the theme of ‘Hidden Gems’, which will run October 15 – 16, 2020. They welcome a diverse range of presentations on this topic, exploring everything from hidden collections to underrepresented designers and artists. The deadline for proposals is July 1, and abstracts should be between 250 to 300 words. For more information on the conference and proposal requirements, please view ICOM-ICDAD’s full CFP here.
The Prado has reopened a quarter of its gallery space with Reunited, a new display of nearly 200 paintings from its permanent collection. The exhibition will run until 13 September 2020. The museum’s masterpieces are displayed in novel juxtapositions, offering a new perspective on the permanent collection. For example, for the first time Rubens’ 17th-century “Saturn Devouring His Son” will be adjacent to Francisco Goya’s depiction of the same subject, painted nearly 200 years later. See the Prado’s website for more details on the works included, the new pairings, and additional videos on the exhibition.
The Prado has reopened with a limited capacity of only 1,800 people per day, compared to 15,000 on peak days last year. Visitors will have to book at least 24 hours in advance, have their temperatures checked at the entrance, wear masks throughout the visit, and there will be markings on the floor to indicate safe distances. The museum’s finances remain a concern despite reopening. Ticket prices will be halved until September 13th, and as the museum receives approximately half its funding from ticket sales. Furthermore, foreign tourists usually represent 70-80% of its visitors. The director of the Prado, Miguel Falomir, plans to showcase the museum’s permanent collection, which will help lower costs. Like many in the art world, he is concerned about the sustainability of the expensive ‘blockbuster exhibition’ model, which relies on loans from international collections and includes high insurance costs. However, in an interview with AFP, Falomir ended on a positive note, stating ‘It will take a while, but tourists will once again fill up the museums’.
On Tuesday, The National Gallery officially announced the acquisition of The Drunkard, Zarauz (1910) by the Spanish master Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923). A year ago, the gallery featured the artist in the monographic exhibition Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light which was splendidly inaugurated with royal presence. The last exhibition on the artist in the United Kingdom took place at London’s Grafton Galleries in 1908 and was coordinated by the artist. Also, very few British Museums own paintings by Sorolla and these are not usually on display. This acquisition thus marks an important milestone by promoting him as one of Spain’s most renowned artists.
Known for his sunny beach scenes, this painting represents an unfamiliar period of his career anticipating the painting cycle of the regions of Spain commissioned for the Hispanic Society of America in New York (painted between 1911 and 1919). It also relates to his early career during which darker scenes of social subjects predominate. Set in the coastal town of Zarauz (Gipuzkoa), Sorolla was on a holiday with his family and, due to the bad weather, was constrained to indoor scenes including the local taverns. He was especially fascinated by the man facing him frontally, called Moscorra, who he represented on another occasion in a more pronounced inebriated state (Museo Sorolla, Madrid). Moscorra slumps forward with bloodshot eyes while another drunkard pushes another drink towards him. Sorolla masterfully captures this moment in a quick sketch with white highlights and earth-tones blurring the foreground and the background. He avoids idealisation, as portrayed in Velázquez’s Drunkards (1628-1629, Museo del Prado, Madrid), representing the issues of alcoholism in an increasingly industrialised Spain.
AMALGAMA is hosting a free webinar series on the work of women artists from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal.
Click here for more details, replays of previous talks, and to register for upcoming talks (NB time zones)
TONIGHT there is a webinar, in Spanish, on Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo & Ana Mendieta Register here (NB 5pm UK time)
The Wallace Collection has produced a short documentary on the year-long process of the cleaning, restoration, and technical analysis of their painting, Prince Baltasar Carlos in the Riding School, by the Studio of Velázquez. This conservation and analysis was generously supported by the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica. More information about the project and the painting can be found in this Wallace Collection blog post.
In case you missed it, the BSR has shared a recording of last week’s talk by Piers Baker-Bates and James W. Nelson Novoa, The Iberian and the Other in early modern Rome.
From the Maius Workshop:
Join us on Zoom at 6:00 pm (London) on 15 June 2020 for the Maius Workshop’s second online event. Please click here to join (please note you will be asked to register and download Zoom, so we recommend you sign up in advance). You can use your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device.
As in previous meetings, this workshop will feature short informal presentations followed by discussion. You will be able to present PowerPoint slides or other material remotely, and to join the discussion via voice or chat.
Our line-up includes a presentation entitled ‘Painting Poetry: The Arch of Titus in Rome by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo’ by Patricia Manzano-Rodríguez, a PhD Candidate in Art History and Architecture at the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University.
We invite further proposals for 15-minute presentations related to the theme of ‘nature’, widely considered. Speakers are encouraged to focus their talks on a particular case study (object, extract, document, etc.), which plays a role in their research and can spark creative discussion.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: real and imagined landscapes; ecology and the exploitation of the natural world; human-animal interactions; cartographies; the history of natural science; depicting ‘from life’, realism and naturalism.
If you would like to present your work-in-progress, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 June 2020. Our sessions are open to all, and research in early stages of development is especially welcome.
Click here to register, places are limited (NB 17.00 UK time)
From the British School at Rome:
We are delighted to launch this series of #BSROnlineLectures for all our friends and followers and in the hope of making new ones. Thanks go to all of those who have agreed to contribute to this first series and to colleagues at the BSR who have pulled the series together with such skill and speed. Although we cannot gather here in Rome, we take consolation in coming together online. – Stephen Milner, Director
For different communities, at different times and for different reasons, Rome has always formed an important locus; this discussion will focus on one particular such early modern group. As the sixteenth-century progressed into the seventeenth, many individual Spanish and Portuguese had made their way to Rome, not only because of its geo-political significance, but also because for a large minority of them it offered a freedom of action that was unobtainable in their own countries. These were the Conversos, Iberians of Jewish descent, who were being gradually and effectively excluded from playing a role in church and state in Spain and Portugal, two countries that were briefly united from 1580. Drawing on our research in Rome, undertaken as historian and art historian respectively, we shall discuss the kind of lives these men (and occasionally women) were able to make for themselves in Rome, what roles they played there, and their importance, out of scale to their number, as patrons of the visual arts both at home and abroad, ranging from El Greco to Velazquez.
Piers Baker-Bates is currently a Visiting Research Associate at The Open University, United Kingdom, having previously been a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the same institution. He is also chair of ARTES, the Iberian & Latin American Visual Culture Group. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in March 2006 and has since held fellowships at a number of institutions, including the British School at Rome and the Dutch Institute in Florence and was an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at CASVA in Autumn 2019. This was for his new project: ‘In the Spanish Fashion: Italian Material Culture and Spanish Devotional Practice in the Sixteenth Century’. His book on Sebastiano del Piombo, Sebastiano del Piombo and the World of Spanish Rome was published in September 2016, while articles on Sebastiano have appeared in both edited collections and in journals. He has also co-authored two edited volumes, The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia, with Dr Miles Pattenden, which was published by Ashgate, supported by the CEEH, in January 2015 and “Un nuovo modo di colorire in pietra”: Paintings on Stone and Material Innovation, with Dr Elena Calvillo, which was published by Brill in March 2018. More recently he has contributed an essay and entries to the catalogue of the National Gallery, London, exhibition, Sebastiano del Piombo and Michelangelo, which ran from March to June 2017 and the Uffizi, Florence, exhibition, Spagna e Italia in Dialogo nell’Europa dell Cinquecento, which ran from February to May 2018.
James W. Nelson Novoa is Associate Professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Medieval and Renaissance studies at the University of Ottawa (Canada). He received his doctorate in Spanish philology from the University of Valencia in Spain in 2003 under the direction of Professor Julio Alonso Asenjo, with a European thesis co-directed by Professor Michele Luzzati of the University of Pisa. He was a postdoctoral fellow of the Foundation for Science and Technology of Portugal (2006–10) and (2011–14). Between 2014 and 2015 he was a researcher in the research project funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Yosef Kaplan at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: a transitional diaspora: cultural and religious changes in the Sephardic western communities during the period Modern, Faculty of Humanities, Hebrew University. He is the author of the book Being the Nação in the Eternal City: Portuguese New Christian Lives in Sixteenth Century Rome, Peterborough: Baywolf Press, 2014, of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and 25 book chapters. Among his areas of academic interest are Italo-Iberian cultural relations in the modern period and the New Christian diaspora in Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The Gallery is scheduled to reopen on July 20th, but until then you can visit virtually. The online version features a 360 degree image of the exhibition with the possibility to zoom in on the paintings and read the accompanying labels and text panels.
The museum’s director, conservators, curators, archivists, and other experts present 5-10 minute talks focused on key aspects of the permanent collection, including individual works and entire areas, such as the rare books from the museum’s library (in Spanish).
The director, researchers, and the heads of various departments have recorded short talks from inside the museum during the lockdown to share details about the history and conservation of various works in the collection (in Portuguese).
This site features virtual museum visits from around the world, which you can navigate with a map or alphabetically,such as the Muesu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona or the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City. It is also worth exploring the other features of the site, including high definition images, narrated talks about individual works, virtual tours of famous sites, and much more.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas became the first major American museum to reopen earlier this week. Under the state government’s orders, the museum was allowed to open at 25% capacity with strict hygiene guidelines, including mandatory masks and temperature checks. As reported by the New York Times, first in the socially-distant line was nurse Joan Laughlin, who had come to see one of the museum’s current exhibitions, ‘Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library’.
The traveling exhibition focuses on the art of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines, and spans more than 4000 years. The 200 objects on loan from the Hispanic Society of America include paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, maps, textiles, porcelains and ceramics, and metalwork and jewelry. The exhibition is organized chronologically into six groups: Antiquity in Spain, Medieval Spain, Golden Age Spain, Viceregal and 19th-Century Latin America, Enlightenment in Spain, and Modern Spain.
This may mark the beginning of the post-lockdown era for cultural institutions in Europe. Museums in Madrid and Barcelona were also allowed to open at limited capacity from May 25th, and French museums will follow at the beginning of next week.