Francis Bacon (Irish, 1909–1992), Triptych (detail), 1983, Oil and pastel on canvas.

Francis Bacon (Irish, 1909–1992), Triptych (detail), 1983, Oil and pastel on canvas.

The Meadows Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2015 with two blockbuster exhibitions.

The Abelló Collection: A Modern Taste for European Masters, running April 18 through August 2, 2015, will feature some 70 paintings from the 15th through the 20th centuries. Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting, the first exhibition in the United States of works from one of the most significant private collections of European art in the world, will be on exhibit September 4, 2015, through January 3, 2016.

A special ceremony celebrating the anniversary will be held April 17, 2015, as part of Founders’ Day Weekend.

The Abelló Collection includes works by such Spanish masters as El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera, Francisco Goya, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso, as well as by other European artists including Georges Braque, Canaletto, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon (see illustration), Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani, among others.

Based in Madrid, Juan Abelló is one of Spain’s most prominent art collectors and has been internationally recognized as one of the top 200 collectors in the world since he began collecting more than three decades ago.

Treasures from the House of Alba features more than 100 European works – from paintings by Goya and Rubens to 16th-century tapestries by Willem de Pannemaker and 19th-century furniture created for Napoleon III as well as illuminated manuscripts, books, historic documents, miniatures, antiquities, prints, sculpture, drawings and other objects. Most of the art has never been seen outside Spain.

“Both of these landmark exhibitions are essential components of the Museum’s 50th-anniversary celebration,” said Mark Roglán, Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair. Presenting The Abelló Collection and Treasures from the House of Alba back to back is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Meadows Museum and the audiences it serves.”