2015 Archives

Meadows Museum to host symposium on Alba family collection

Dec. 4 examination of significant private collection is free and open to the public

December 2, 2015

Dallas (SMU) – The Meadows Museum at SMU will host “Alba: Lives and Afterlives of a Historic Collection,” a free international symposium on Friday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), The Duchess of Alba in White, 1795. Oil on canvas. Colección Duques de Alba, Palacio de Liria, Madrid.
The Duchess of Alba in White
, 1795, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828) . Oil on canvas. Colección Duques de Alba, Palacio de Liria, Madrid.

The event, which is open to the public, will bring together established and emerging scholars for discussion and debate on a selection of masterpieces from the collection of the Alba family. Held to coincide with Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting, this will be one of the last opportunities to study this historic collection before the exhibition closes on Jan. 3, 2016. 

The symposium is co-organized by the Meadows Museum and The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas.

The morning will begin with an informal viewing of the exhibition, followed by three keynote lectures in the Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium exploring the remarkable development of the Alba collection. The first lecture will examine the dispersal of the collection during the 19th century, the second will investigate the political appropriation of the collection during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), and the third will address the conservation history of the collection in the 20th century. 

In the afternoon, eight speakers will present “object biographies” of individual works within the exhibition, including the Alba Family Bible, a Renaissance tapestry by Willem de Pannemaker, and several iconic paintings, notably Goya’s celebrated portrait of The Duchess of Alba in White (1795).

The Presenters:

  • Rafael Alonso, Conservator, Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Nicole Atzbach, Curator, Meadows Museum
  • Miriam Basilio, Associate Professor of Art History and Museum Studies, NYU
  • Richard Brettell, Founding Director of The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the Margaret M. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Art and Aesthetic Studies, UT Dallas
  • Lori Diel, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Art History, Texas Christian University
  • Amy Freund, Assistant Professor and The Kleinheinz Family Endowment for the Arts and Education Endowed Chair in Art History, SMU
  • Shira Lander, Professor of Practice and Director of Jewish Studies, SMU
  • Lisa Pon, Associate Professor of Art History, SMU
  • 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, SMU
  • Mark Rosen, Associate Professor of Aesthetic Studies, Edith O’Donnell Institute, UT Dallas
  • Xavier Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, Frick Collection, New York  

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to examine these objects in real depth, as most of them have never left Spain before,” said Mark A. Roglán, Director of the Meadows Museum. “We anticipate that this symposium will spark some thought-provoking discussions, bring to light new discoveries, and inspire future research projects.”

The symposium will close the Meadows Museum’s 50th Anniversary celebration. There is no cost and parking is free. No reservations are required for the event, but space is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a lunch break and reception to follow for the attendees. 

For more information, call 214.768.4677 or visit www.meadowsmuseumdallas.org/symposia.html.

The Schedule

Morning Session - Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium

9:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Coffee and informal viewing of the exhibition

Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting

9:30 - 9:40 a.m. - OPENING REMARKS 

Mark Roglán (Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU)

Richard Brettell (Director, Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History, UTD)

9:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - LECTURES

9:40 - 10:20 a.m.

Richard Brettell (O'Donnell Institute, UTD)

The Alba Collection Paris Sale: Spanish Art, Tapestries, and French Taste in the early Third Republic

10:25 - 11:05 a.m.

Miriam Basilio (Assoc. Professor of Art History and Museum Studies, New York University)

"Museums for the People": The Alba Collection and Debates about Cultural Property during the Spanish Civil War

11:10 a.m. - 11:50 p.m.

Rafael Alonso (Conservator, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid)

Preserving the Legacy of the House of Alba in the Twentieth Century

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Break for Lunch and informal viewing of the exhibition Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting

Afternoon Session - Jake and Nancy Hamon Galleries

1:30 - 3:10 p.m. - OBJECT BIOGRAPHIES 

1:30 - 1:50 p.m.

Shira Lander (Professor of Practice & Director of Jewish Studies, SMU)

Rabbi Mosé Arrajel and School of Toledo, Alba Family Bible, 1430

1:55 - 2:15 p.m.

Lori Diel (Assoc. Professor and Coordinator of Art History, TCU)

Decree granting coat of arms to Martín Moctezuma, 1536

2:20 - 2:40 p.m.

Mark Rosen (Assoc. Professor of Aesthetic Studies, Edith O'Donnell Institute, UTD)

Fernão Vaz Dourado, Portulano, Atlas of the World, 1568

2:45 - 3:05 p.m.

Lisa Pon (Assoc. Professor of Art History, SMU)

Willem de Pannemaker, Mercury in Love with Herse, 1570

3:10 - 3:30 p.m. - BREAK AND INFORMAL DISCUSSION

3:30 - 5:10 p.m. - OBJECT BIOGRAPHIES, PART II

3:30 - 3:50 p.m.

Nicole Atzbach (Curator, Meadows Museum, SMU)

Andrea Vaccaro, Penitent Magdalene, c. 1650-60

3:55 - 4:15 p.m.

Amy Freund (Asst. Professor & The Kleinheinz Family Endowment for the Arts & Education Endowed Chair in Art History, SMU)

Louis Michel van Loo, The Children of the Second Duke of Berwick, c. 1715

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.

Xavier Salomon (Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, Frick Collection, New York)

Francisco de Goya, The Duchess of Alba in White, 1795

4:45 - 5:05 p.m.

Mark Roglán (Meadows Museum, SMU)

Josep María Sert, Victory Comes Slowly; Defeat of the Enemy; The Book of History; Mobilization, c. 1918

5:10 - 6:00 p.m.

Reception for symposium attendees at the Meadows Museum

About The Alba Collection:

For more than 500 years, the Alba family has formed part of the most important aristocratic lineages in Europe. In celebration of the Meadows Museum’s 50th anniversary, they have graciously loaned 140 works from their private collection, many of which have never left Spain until now. Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting presents fine and decorative arts drawn from three of the family’s most spectacular palaces in Madrid, Seville, and Salamanca, including paintings by Goya, Fra Angelico, Titian, Rubens, Renoir and Velázquez; etchings by Rembrandt and Dürer; the Alba Family Bible, one of the first translations from Hebrew into a Romance language; a first edition of Don Quijote; Renaissance tapestries; Sèvres porcelain; and Christopher Columbus’s logbook from his voyage of discovery. Following its presentation at the Meadows Museum, the show will travel to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, where it will be on display from February 5 through May 1, 2016.

About the Meadows Museum:

Meadows Museum at 50 LogoThe Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas is a premier American institution focused on building awareness and continuing to honor and educate the public on the culture and art of Spain. In 1962, Dallas businessman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows provided funding and items from his personal art collection to Southern Methodist University to begin implementing his vision of a “Prado for Texas.” Since its opening in 1965, the Meadows Museum has grown to be one of the leading galleries to display Spanish art, with its comprehensive collection being one of the largest outside of Spain.

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