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SMU's Meadows Museum Adds To Its Growing Spanish Art Collection

Michael Bodycomb
Meadows Museum
Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta's Portrait of a Lady, painted in 1890 and 1891. It's one of three acquisitions by the Meadows Museum, on SMU's campus

The Meadows Museum, on the campus of Southern Methodist University, has just added three important works to its rapidly growing collection of Spanish art. The acquisitions will help lead up to the museum’s 50th anniversary next year.

The trio of works doesn’t just represent a pre-celebration of a golden anniversary.

“We really want to strengthen our position as one of the greatest holdings of Spanish art, particularly outside of Spain ... in all its diversity, whether it's paintings by old masters or modern masters or wonderful sculptures like the work of Munoz," said Nicole Atzbach, the Meadows curator.

Atzbach is especially taken by a 1996 Juan Munoz sculpture called "Seated Figure Looking Backwards."

Credit Courtesy The Barrettt Collection
1996 bronze sculpture "Seated Figure Looking Backwards" by Juan Munoz, just acquired by the Meadows Museum.

“It’s a man sitting in his chair,” Atzbach explains, “and he’s turning around and he’s facing backwards. And the way that he’s installed right now he’s actually facing our new painting by Barcelo. So there’s this interesting dialogue going on between these two new acquisitions.”

The large painting that the small sculpted man faces dates from 1985, Miguel Barcelo’s “Soup of Europe.” There’s also a late 19th century canvas by Raimundo de Madrazo called “Portrait of a Lady.”

“She’s reading the newspaper,” Atzbach says, “enjoying her morning coffee. And it was a wonderful painting we were able to find on auction in Philadelphia. It was sort of a hidden treasure and it’s in wonderful condition.”

Credit Michael Bodycomb
Miguel Barcelo's 1985 "Sopa d'Europa (Soup of Europe), mixed media on canvas, newly acquired by the Meadows Museum.

Critics consider much in the Meadows wonderful. The museum’s already renowned for Spanish masterworks by the likes of Ribera, Velazquez and Goya. The additional art helps expand its 19th and 20th century collection.