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Meadows Museum Hosts International Symposium Devoted to Joaquín Sorolla

Louis Comfort Tiffany by Joaquín Sorolla, 1911 at the Meadows Museum

Louis Comfort Tiffany by Joaquín Sorolla, 1911 at the Meadows Museum

The Meadows Museum will host an international symposium at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8, 2014, in conjunction with Sorolla And America, the new exhibition devoted to Spanish master painter Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923) running through April 19 at the museum.

The symposium will be moderated by Blanc Pons-Sorolla, the artist’s great-grandaughter and the exhibition’s curator. Guest speakers will include Alisa Luxenberg, Professor of 18th- and 19th- Century European Art, University of Georgia, and Lucía Martínez, conservator at the Prado Museum. The symposium will be held in the Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium at the Meadows Museum, and admission is free.

“We are delighted to bring together the world’s leading authorities on Sorolla for this very special symposium on one of Spain’s most important artists,” said Mark A. Roglán, The Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts.

“I’d especially like to thank Blanca Pons-Sorolla for moderating this thought-provoking discussion of Sorolla and for curating Sorolla and America.  Because of this landmark exhibition, the Dallas community has the unique opportunity to experience and enjoy the full range of one of Spain’s greatest artists and his close relationship with America.”

Pons-Sorolla will begin the symposium at 2 p.m. with an introduction and opening remarks. She is author of the most comprehensive biography of the artist, Joaquín Sorolla: Life and Work (2001), as well as Joaquín Sorolla (2005) and Sorolla: The Masterworks (2012). Additionally, she co-edited the Sorolla and America exhibition catalogue (2013) and was its most significant contributor. She has guest-curated Sorolla exhibits at museums around the world and has received many international honors for her work. Pons-Sorolla was decorated in 1992 by King Carlos Gustavo XVI of Sweden with the First Class Officer Medal of the Royal Order of the Polar Star for her research on Sorolla’s works. In 2009, she received the Sorolla Medal from The Hispanic Society of America (New York), also for her work researching Sorolla.

“I’m grateful to the Meadows Museum for organizing this one-of-a-kind exhibition and symposium and I’m looking forward to hearing my colleagues discuss Sorolla’s life, career and the profound impact he had on the world of art,” said Pons-Sorolla.

Marcus Burke, Senior Curator at The Hispanic Society of America, will speak at 2:15 p.m. on The Right Time and the Right Place: Sorolla and The Hispanic Society. Burke will explore the important relationship between Sorolla and The Hispanic Society, whose founder, Archer Milton Huntington, helped launch the artist’s career in the U.S. in 1909 with an acclaimed exhibition in New York. Sorolla and America includes a significant number of works from The Hispanic Society of America.

Alisa Luxenburg will speak at 3 p.m. on Sorolla and la españolada: In Search of the Authentic Spain. The talk will focus on Sorolla’s ambivalence toward certain stereotypes of Spain and what it means to be an “authentic” Spanish artist.

Lucía Martínez Valverde, who worked on the restoration of several entries in the exhibition Sorolla and America, will speak on The Restoration of Masterworks by Joaquín Sorolla: The Rediscovery of Light. She will address the details of restoration performed on Sorolla’s paintings and discuss Sorrolla’s technique in a way that allows us to step into his shoes and understand his creative process.

There will be a Q&A at 4:30 PM, followed at 5 p.m. by a wine and cheese reception. At 6:30 p.m., the Orchestra of New Spain performs a preview of its annual staged production The Rise of Flamenco: Lorca, Falla, Sorolla, Andalusia 1920-39. The concert brings together local dance companies Los Bailes Espanoles and Flamenco Festival, as well as international guest artists and the Orchestra, in a celebration of flamenco dance and its surroundings in early 20th-century Andalusia. Admission to the concert is also free, but reservations must be made by calling 214.750.1492 or visiting

Sorolla and America explores for the first time the unique relationship between the U.S. and Sorolla, the most internationally-known Spanish artist to achieve success in his lifetime until the arrival of Picasso. The collection of more than 150 vivid works features breathtaking paintings of beach scenes, landscapes and portraits. Sorolla was a master at using colors and sunlight to capture a special luminescence in his work that often earns comparison to the Impressionists.

Dallas is the first stop of a world-wide tour for Sorolla and America. After the Meadows, it travels to The San Diego Museum of Art (May 30-August 26, 2014) and Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid (September 23, 2014-January 11, 2015).

About the Meadows 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 small Prado in Texas.”

Today, the Meadows is home to one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art in the world. The collection spans from the 10th to the 21st centuries, and includes medieval objects, Renaissance and Baroque sculptures, and major paintings by Golden Age and modern masters. Since 2010, the Museum has been engaged in a multidimensional partnership with the Prado, which has included the exchange of scholars, exhibitions, works of art, and other resources.

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