Meadows Museum Opens With Photographs From A Barcelona Archive

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips on art in the time of social distancing.  Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to Meadows Museum Director Mark Roglán share his tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala. 

The Meadows Museum on the SMU campus houses the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain. The permanent collection holdings include works by El Greco, Veláquez, Goya, Miró, Picasso, and Dalí. After 12 weeks of being closed, the Meadows Museum will open to the public on July 7.

Mark Roglán, Meadows Museum Director, said they are thrilled to be opening and are excited to greet visitors back to the museum.

“I think that people do want to reconnect with the museum. They do want to start spending time looking at art and learning about art and culture. And we’re seeing a lot of that happening more than ever through all our digital platforms. But also maybe some people will also be interested in connecting with the art itself, which there’s no replacement for that.”

The Meadows Musem opens July 7. Timed-entry tickets are available now.

A few things will be different when visitors come back to the museum. New safety protocols are in place, ones that have become pretty common these days.

Masks will be required for all staff and guests. There will be timed-entry tickets that need to be purchased in advance to help the museum operate at reduced 25% capacity.  There’ll be signage reminding guests about appropriate social distancing. Instead of docent-led tours, the museum will unveil a new app that can be downloaded on your phone so you can see the collection in different ways and hear pre-recorded labels.

Berruguete, Alonso (1526-1532), “El Naixement”, oli s. fusta. Formava part del retaule de Sant Benet el Real, de Valladolid.

What won’t be different is the art on view. Roglán said they will still be able to offer a very unique experience as they’ve always offered at the Meadows – and that is compelling art.

There were actually two exhibitions planned to open this summer but with the mandatory shutdown, the museum was unable to finish installing the larger of the exhibitions, Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain.

Berruguete, Alonso (1554-1561). Sepulcre del cardenal Juan Pardo i Tavera, detall. Marbre blanc. Hospital de Sant Joan Baptista o de Tavera, Toledo

So they will move ahead and open with the second and related exhibition Berruguete Through the Lens: Photographs from a Barcelona Archive. This is the first time selections from the archive will be exhibited publicly.

Photographs from the collection were taken when a team of photographers was tasked with documenting Spain’s artistic treasures in the 1920s and early 1930s. They went to churches, cathedrals, private residences, monasteries, and convents. They took photographs inside and out of the architecture, monuments, sculptures, artifacts, paintings, and anything of importance, including many works by the Spanish Renaissance artist Alonso Berruguete and his contemporaries. However, during the Spanish Civil War, many of the same works of art were either destroyed or badly damaged.

Berruguete, Alonso (c. 1486-1561) “Imposició de la casulla a sant Ildefons”. Escultura de fusta policromada provinent del retaule Major de l’església de San Benito el Real (1526-1532), Valladolid. Museu Provincial de Valladolid.

The black and white photographs in the collection, although important works in themselves, now have a deeper historical value.

“So the photographs are really beautiful. I mean, they’re very moving and their lighting is extraordinary . . . but what is also interesting is from a historical perspective. Again, these photographs have become in many cases they only visual reference that we have to monuments that were completely destroyed. . .  And in fact, for Berruguete there were a number of sculptures that were damaged during the war . . . But here (the photographs) show how they looked,” said Roglán.

Berruguete Through the Lens: Photographs from a Barcelona Archive is on view July 7, 2020, through January 10, 20201.

The Meadows Museum hopes to open Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain in the fall.

Got a tip? Email Gila Espinoza at gespinoza@kera.org. You can follow her on Twitter @espinoza_kera.

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