Building upon the success of the first two years of its partnership with the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, and in anticipation of this fall’s final originally planned exhibition, Diego Velázquez: The Early Court Portraits, the Meadows Museum today announced that it will expand its agreement with the Prado for two additional years, continuing the institutions’ many initiatives and adding two collaboratively developed exhibitions. The Meadows and the Prado originally announced in 2009 the launch of a three-year partnership that included the loan of three major paintings from the Prado.
The first painting, El Greco’s Pentecost (1596-1600), was exhibited at the Meadows in fall 2010. Jusepe de Ribera’s Mary Magdalene (1640-41), the second painting, was paired with three additional loans of Ribera works from other collections, in a larger exhibition that took place in fall 2011. The collaboration also included interdisciplinary research at Southern Methodist University (SMU), an unprecedented internship exchange between the two museums, and a range of public programs, all of which will continue for the next two years under the expanded partnership.
“After frequent visits to Madrid in the 1950s, Meadows 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 Mark A. Roglán, Director of the Meadows Museum, “Over the last two years, our partnership with the Prado has been another major step in realizing his aspiration. The ongoing exchange of ideas, people, and artworks that it has produced made it clear to our institution and the Prado that our alliance should continue and become more ambitious.”
Diego Velázquez: The Early Court Portraits, on view at the Meadows Museum from September 16, 2012 – January 13, 2013, has as its centerpiece the portrait of Philip IV from the Prado. The exhibition will be guest curated by Dr. Javier Portús, Head of the Department of Spanish Painting (pre-1700) at the Prado, and will include paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as the Meadows’ own portrait of Philip IV.
Under the expanded partnership, the Meadows and the Prado will work together to mount two additional exhibitions that will be held in both Madrid and Dallas. Impressions of Europe: 19th-Century Vistas by Martín Rico, (Madrid, October 12, 2012 – February 10, 2013; Dallas, March 10 – July 7, 2013) will be the first-ever monographic exhibition on the work of Martín Rico y Ortega, one of the most important artists of late-19th-century Spain and a pioneer in landscape painting. Rico’s work enjoyed wide international recognition and exposure during his lifetime, particularly in the United States; some of the greatest American collectors of that period, including Henry Clay Frick, Henry Walters, and William H. Stewart were his admirers. The exhibition will examine each period of the artist’s career, from his earliest paintings of the mountainous countryside outside of Madrid to the glorious Venetian canals and Parisian vistas he painted in his later years.
In summer 2014 an exhibition featuring an important group of Spanish drawings from the Kunsthalle of Hamburg, Germany will be first presented at the Meadows Museum and then travel to the Prado to be exhibited there (October 2014—January 2015). The Kunsthalle has one of the most significant collections of Spanish drawings anywhere, including masterpieces by Murillo and Goya. These additional partnership exhibitions will again be accompanied by bilingual exhibition catalogues and academic symposia. 2
Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Prado, said, “I am delighted with how the partnership with the Meadows is developing, bringing great works of art to Dallas and to Madrid, and involving collaborations at both academic and curatorial level. I look forward to this new phase in the friendship between the Prado and the Meadows.”
In addition to its robust acquisitions program and its partnership with the Prado, the Meadows has collaborated with many other major institutions and notable private collectors around the world to bring groundbreaking exhibitions to the Dallas community. Past collaborating institutions include Patrimonio Nacional in Spain, Biblioteca Nacional de España, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the National Archaeological Museum of Spain, and the National Archaeological Museum in Florence (Italy).
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.”
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.