Yesterday, 46 Dallasites, including Mayor Tom Leppert, gathered in Madrid to witness the official signing of a partnership agreement between the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University and the Prado Museum in Madrid. The signing took place in one of the galleries of the Prado surrounded by Spanish Renaissance paintings, with Prado Director Miguel Zugaza, Deputy Director Gabriele Finaldi, and Chair of the Board Placido Arango orchestrating the event. The signing of the agreement at the Prado represents the second and final official ceremony to launch the historic partnership, the first of which took place at the Meadows Museum in Dallas on September 10.
Representatives from Dallas at the signing included Meadows Museum Director Mark Roglán; Provost of Southern Methodist University Dr. Paul Ludden; Ms. Linda Evans, President of The Meadows Foundation and sponsor of the exchange; Ms. Linda Custard, Chair of the Meadows Museum Advisory Council; and the Honorable Janet Kafka, Honorary Consul of Spain in Dallas. Ambassador Alan D. Solomont, Ambassador of the United States to Spain, hosted a celebratory reception following the signing at the official residence of the United States of America.
The signing of the partnership in Madrid represents the final official step in the launching of a three-year partnership between the two museums, marking the first such international program for the Prado. 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.
El Greco’s monumental masterpiece Pentecost, on loan from the Prado, is currently on view at the Meadows Museum. 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. Upon the arrival of each loan, the Meadows Museum will produce a bilingual publication presenting new research across multiple subject areas, and will organize a series of symposia and educational programming with national and international scholars. Since the announcement of the partnership, the collaboration has already expanded, and the installation of Ribera’s Mary Magdalene will be accompanied by the loan of additional pieces from other distinguished collections.