Tag Archives: heritage

Failed restoration of a copy of a Murillo painting makes headlines, once again raising the problem of insufficient regulation of art conservation in Spain

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s original work (left) and two attempts at restoring a copy of it. Photograph: Cedida por Coleccionista/Europa Press 2020

News outlets across the globe have shared the story of another failed restoration in Spain. The work was a copy of Murillo’s The Immaculate Conception of El Escorial, and the original remains unscathed at the Prado. It is important to note that the viral image above is slightly misleading, as it compares the two ‘restored’ versions (right) to Murillo’s original painting (left), rather than to the copy before the restoration effort.

The copied painting belongs to a private art collector in Valencia, who had hired a furniture restorer to clean the work. The collector has now asked another specialist to attempt to fix the botched restoration.

The Association of Conservators and Restorers in Spain (ACRE) has released a statement, stating that they ‘regret once again the loss of a cultural asset and, under these circumstances, we request not to take this instance as a social media source of fun, as happened already formerly. Moreover, we all must be alarmed to think that our heritage is disappearing because of these disastrous actions’. They also emphasize that ‘no professional technician with an official academic training would perform such an attempt against cultural heritage’. They warn against the lack of regulations for art conservation in Spain, which ‘allows unskilled people intervening on [art], facing, at best, mere administrative penalties’.

Information for this post was culled from: The Guardian, The New York Times, The BBC, Artnet, and Europa Press (in Spanish)

New Exhibition and CEEH Publication: VALENTÍN CARDERERA Y SOLANO, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid, September 27, 2019 – January 12, 2020

VALENTÍN CARDERERA Y SOLANO (Huesca, 1796 – Madrid, 1880) was a painter, scholar, communicator, collector and traveller. His life was marked by his efforts to safeguard Spain’s historical heritage and he journeyed around much of the Spanish mainland to bear witness in his drawings and watercolours to significant monuments, many at risk of disappearance as a result of the modernising drive ushered in by the new liberal order. Member of the Romantic generation and friends with the Madrazo family, Carderera was also in contact with some other figures like Richard Ford and Prosper Mérimée, with whom he shared the same nostalgia for the past and the need to define his position in the complex debate between tradition and progress.

The exhibition—featuring more than a hundred pieces including paintings, drawings, engravings, manuscripts, books, maps and objects—pays tribute to Carderera’s work and the significant legacy he left in the Biblioteca Nacional de España. In 1867 the Spanish State adquired his collection of drawings and prints: more than 45.000 pieces which enriched the department of Fine Arts with engravings of Mantegna, Dürer and Rembrandt, among others, along with one of the very few drawings attributed to Velázquez. Click here for more information.

The exhibition opens on 27 September in the Biblioteca Nacional de España’s Sala Hipóstila. It was curated by José María Lanzarote Guiral and organised by the Biblioteca Nacional de España and Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica.

It is accompanied by a an exhibition catalogue which reconstructs Carderera’s intense life in six thematic sections, published by CEEH. Until 25 September, the catalogue can be purchased from the CEEH website at special discount price. Click here for more information.

Edilia and François-Auguste de Montêquin Fellowship, Society of Architectural Historians, deadline September 30, 2019

The latern tower of Teruel cathedral. By Escarlati – ACDSee for Pentax, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1284830

Purpose
This award provides support for travel related to research on Spanish, Portuguese, or Ibero-American architecture.  

The Awards
The awards consist of a $2,000 fellowship for an advanced graduate student and a $6,000 fellowship for a senior or emerging scholar. The awardees will be notified in December and will be recognized at the SAH 73rd Annual International Conference in Seattle, Washington (April 29–May 2, 2020). The awards also will be announced in the May 2020 issue of the SAH Newsletter. 

Criteria for Application

These annual fellowships are intended to support the research of graduate students who have completed their coursework and are engaged in doctoral dissertation research, and senior or emerging scholars who have completed their PhD or equivalent terminal degree. The research to be supported must focus on Spanish, Portuguese, or Ibero-American architecture, including colonial architecture produced by the Spaniards in the Philippines and what is today the United States. The applicant must be a current member of SAH. 

Reporting Requirements
Following completion of travel and research supported by the fellowship, each de Montêquin Fellowship awardee must submit a written report summarizing their research and explaining what travel was undertaken and how funds were spent. The report will be submitted to the SAH office no later than three months following the completion of work related to the fellowship. Awardees are required to upload images to SAHARA (a minimum of 50 for junior scholars and a minimum of 150 for senior scholars).  

Application Details
You will need two recommendations to apply for this fellowship, a description of the research project on Iberian or Ibero-American architecture to be funded (500 words maximum), a current curriculum vitae (5 pages max), and a statement of purpose.

SAH is accepting applications for the 2020 Edilia and François-Auguste de Montêquin Fellowship. The application deadline is September 30, 2019.

Visit sah.org/research-fellowships to apply.