Meadows Museum celebrates 50th anniversary with blockbuster show from the Abelló Collection April 18-Aug. 2, 2015

Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920), Portrait of Constantine Brancusi (verso of previous image), 1909. Oil on canvas. P67 – 6/1987, Archive Abelló Collection (Joaquín Cortés).
Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920), Portrait of Constantine Brancusi (verso of previous image), 1909. Oil on canvas. P67 – 6/1987, Archive Abelló Collection (Joaquín Cortés).

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, SMU’s Meadows Museum will present an exhibition spanning 500 years of Spanish art – and the first in the United States of paintings from the treasure trove of one of the world’s top collectors.

The Abelló Collection: A Modern Taste for European Masters will be on view April 18-Aug. 2, 2015. The show features approximately 70 paintings spanning the 16th to the 21st centuries – including 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, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani, among others.

The exhibition will feature Francis Bacon’s Triptych 1983, one of the artist’s final works in this iconic format. Also included will be an ensemble of 15 drawings by Pablo Picasso, representing all periods in his long career.

The Abelló Collection joins the Meadows’ ongoing series of international partnerships that are bringing Spanish masterworks to the United States. In addition, it is a cornerstone to the Museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, which will continue throughout 2015.

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 art over three decades ago. Along with his wife Anna Gamazo, Abelló has amassed more than 500 outstanding works of art spanning 500 years of European history.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Portrait of Juana Garlaza de Goicoechea, 1810
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Portrait of Juana Garlaza de Goicoechea, 1810. Oil on canvas. P28 – 4/1984, Archive Abelló Collection (Joaquín Cortés).

The Abelló Collection is grounded in the couple’s dedication to bringing great national works of art back to Spain that have been dispersed over time in the turmoil resulting from centuries of political and economic strife — from the Napoleonic invasion, to numerous historical financial crises.

Abelló’s collecting bears a parallel to that of Meadows Museum founder and SMU benefactor Algur H. Meadows, who similarly devoted his fortune to the collection, study, and presentation of Spanish masterworks, and to strengthening international awareness of Spain’s robust cultural tradition.

“The Meadows Museum is incredibly grateful for the generosity of Juan Abelló and Anna Gamazo, who have so graciously agreed to lend these extraordinary masterpieces from their collection for an international debut in Dallas,” said Mark Roglán, The Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are honored to have the opportunity to present for the first time in the United States paintings from this outstanding collection, which showcases Spain’s powerful artistic legacy, and perfectly coincides with our institution’s founding mission and role as a leader in the research and presentation of Spanish art.”

Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story, including a list of exhibition highlights, from SMU News
> Visit SMU’s Meadows Museum online: smu.edu/meadowsmuseum