Collaboration between leading Spanish art institutions will serve as basis for new scholarship and inspiration for range of programs and exhibitions
Includes loans of masterworks by El Greco, Velázquez, and Ribera
The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and the Prado Museum in Madrid today announced the launch of a three-year partnership, marking the first such international program for Spain’s national museum. The multifaceted collaboration encompasses the loan of major paintings from the Prado, interdisciplinary research at SMU, an unprecedented internship exchange between the two museums, and a range of public programs. The Meadows is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.
The Prado and the Meadows will be organizing groundbreaking focused exhibitions around pivotal masterpieces on loan from the Prado that will explore the broader cultural, political, religious, and historical contexts for the works. El Greco’s monumental painting, Pentecost, will be the first of three loans to be presented in Dallas, on display from September 12, 2010 – February 1, 2011.
Next year, the Prado will lend the Meadows Jusepe de Ribera’s Mary Magdalene followed by Diego Velázquez’s full length portrait of Philip IV in 2012. The museum will produce a bilingual publication presenting new research across multiple subject areas timed to the installation of each loan, and will organize a series of symposia and educational programming with national and international scholars.
In the fall of 2011, the two museums will initiate The Algur H. Meadows/Prado Internships, an annual exchange with one appointment made by each institution. This will be the first curatorial internship ever to be mounted by the Prado with a foreign institution. Sponsored by the Meadows Museum, the internships will provide graduate students with the opportunity to gain professional and international experience, and to work closely with the curatorial staff at each institution.
“After frequent visits to Madrid in the 1950s, museum founder Algur H. Meadows had a vision to establish a ‘Prado on the Prairie’, and built an incredible collection of Spanish art that forms the foundation of the museum today,” said Meadows Museum Director Mark Roglán. “This new partnership is another step in realizing his aspiration.”
Over the course of Roglán’s tenure, the Meadows has mounted numerous exhibitions presenting works that rarely travel to the U.S., partnering with major Spanish institutions including the National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Patrimonio Nacional, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. The collaboration with the Prado represents a natural extension of the existing relationship between the two museums, as the Meadows has often lent works to special exhibitions at the Prado and collaborated on research.
Prado Director Miguel Zugaza said, “This special collaboration with the Meadows Museum will bring three of the finest works in the Prado’s collections to a new audience in the United States, where they will each be shown in a new and revealing context. I am looking forward to this project.”
In tandem with the installation of Pentecost this fall, the Meadows will present two new exhibitions:
- Spanish Muse: A Contemporary Response: featuring works by contemporary artists responding to iconic works in Spain. On view from September 12 – December 12, 2010, the exhibition will include work by artists such as Thomas Struth, Eve Sussman, Yinka Shonibare, Manolo Valdés, José Manuel Ballester, and Claudio Bravo.
- Sultans and Saints: Spain’s Confluence of Cultures: an exploration of the religious character of Spain and its impact on El Greco’s style and subject matter. The show will be on display from September 12, 2010 – February 1, 2011, and will feature works of art from the Meadows and other SMU collections in a variety of media, including manuscripts, ceramics, painting and sculpture, all reflective of the cultural and artistic exchange between Jews, Muslims, and Christians from the period of the Convivencia to the Counter Reformation.
The essays featured in the publication for Pentecost will include the following:
- “El Greco in Toledo: the Artist’s Clientele” by Dr. Richard Kagan, Professor of History, The Johns Hopkins University
- “Pentecost in the Altarpiece of the Colegio de Doña María de Aragón: The Synthesis of El Greco’s Final Style” by Dr. Leticia Ruiz Gómez, Head of the Department of Spanish Painting from 1700, Prado Museum
- “Flaming Tongues: Valences of Pentecost in Early Modern Spain” by Dr. Hilaire Kallendorf, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Texas A&M University
- “El Greco’s Painting Technique: The Restoration of Pentecost” by Rafael Alonso Alonso, Conservator, Prado Museum
The Meadows Museum is the leading U.S. institution focused on the study and presentation of the art of Spain. In 1962, Dallas businessman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows donated his private collection of Spanish paintings, as well as funds to start a museum, to Southern Methodist University. The museum opened to the public in 1965, marking the first step in fulfilling Meadows’ vision to create a “Prado on the Prairie.” Meadows hired William B. Jordan, an American historian of Spanish painting, in 1967 to serve as director of the Museum, and worked with him over the next eleven years to assemble an outstanding collection of Spanish masterpieces.
Today, the Meadows collection of Spanish art—one of the largest and most comprehensive outside of Spain—comprises more than 125 paintings and sculptures and approximately 450 works on paper. The collection spans from the 10th to the 21st century, and includes medieval objects, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures, and major paintings by Golden Age and modern masters.
The Prado Museum is Spain’s premier art museum and was founded by King Ferdinand VII in 1819. It houses a collection of paintings from the twelfth to the early twentieth century, and includes several of the great masterpieces of European painting, including Rogier van der Weyden’s Descent from the Cross, Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, El Greco’s Portrait of a Man with his Hand on his Chest, Velázquez’s Las Meninas, and Goya’s The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808. It also includes collections of ancient sculpture, decorative arts, and drawings, prints and photographs, including the world’s largest and most important group of works on paper by Goya. In 2007 the Prado opened its new extension, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rafael Moneo, which provides the Museum with new spaces for exhibitions, conservation and storage. The Prado has an ambitious program of temporary exhibitions which has included in recent years Titian (2003), Manet in the Prado (2004), Tintoretto (2005), Picasso: Tradition and Avant-garde (2006), Velázquez’s Fables (2007), Francis Bacon (2009) and Sorolla (2009).