The Hispanic Society Museum & Library

The Hispanic Society Museum & Library The Hispanic Society’s Museum is CLOSED for extensive renovations. During this period the Sorolla Vision of Spain Gallery and the Library will open on a limited basis, by appointment only.
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To visit please e-mail [email protected]

Treasures abound in the thousands of objects that comprise the Hispanic Society’s collection of decorative arts. The mag...
05/07/2021

Treasures abound in the thousands of objects that comprise the Hispanic Society’s collection of decorative arts. The magnificent collection of Spanish ceramics is the largest in the United States, and one of the finest and most comprehensive outside of Spain, encompassing lusterware, faience or tin-glazed earthenware, burnished earthenware, and porcelain.

Exceptional examples of the famous Islamic-influenced lusterware produced at Manises (Valencia) from the 14th through 18th centuries are among the finest to be found anywhere. All of the major decorative styles and motifs from Islamic to Gothic can be found on the dozens of albarelos (pharmacy or drug jars), chargers, bowls, deep basins, and vases of the “golden” pottery. At the height of its popularity in the 14th and 15th centuries, Spanish lusterware with its lustrous metallic glazes was the most prized of all European ceramics, as evidenced by the numerous pieces emblazoned with the coats-of arms of Italian and Spanish noble families. The collection of lusterware also includes an array of choice pieces from Muel and Catalonia dating from the 15th through 18th centuries.

Lusterware Deep Basin with Coat of Arms of Castilla-León, Tin-glazed earthenware with cobalt and luster. Manises, Valencia, Spain. 1425-1450

05/06/2021

Join us on May 26th for our 2021 Virtual Benefit: History in the Making, a special evening of inspirational programming hosted by Hispanic Society Chairman, Philippe de Montebello. We will journey through the history of the Hispanic Society’s collections and landmarked buildings with trustee and TV personality Bob Vila, explore the history of the neighborhood with historian and author Matthew Spady, enjoy a conversation with Luis A. Miranda Jr, an icon of the arts in Upper Manhattan whose life is featured in the recent HBO documentary Siempre Luis, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award-winning actor, performer and writer known for his groundbreaking Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.

The program will also offer a sneak peek at our upcoming outdoor exhibition organized in collaboration with Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), Latinx Diaspora: Stories from Upper Manhattan, and a behind-the-scenes look at our collections with curators and conservators from the museum. Music performance by singer and percussionist David Freyre.

May 26, 2021 at 6:00PM
To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit: https://hispanicsociety.org/virtual_benefit_2021/

Images left to right: Francisco de Goya, Old man on a Swing, 1823-28; Francisco de Goya, The Duchess of Alba, 1797 (detail) | Rogelio de Egusquiza, Reclining Woman with Mirror, 1873 (detail) | Danny Peguero, Latinx Identity: The Voices of the Diaspora (1980s-1990s), (detail) | Background: Charles Pratt Huntington, Architectural drawing of the Museum, (detail)

A View from Outside: How distinguished visitors have seen our CollectionsPablo HelgueraArtist Research FellowselectsAnon...
05/05/2021

A View from Outside: How distinguished visitors have seen our Collections

Pablo Helguera
Artist Research Fellow

selects

Anonymous French Military Photographer (Henri Berge ?), Album of Siege of Puebla 1863, Albumen prints, 1863

That Which Flourishes Within the Ruins:
The Cultural Legacy of a War

Wars leave traces- deep scars. They also leave concrete historic documentation as well as intangible signs of cultural impact. Such is the case of the French Intervention in Mexico (1862-67) when French forces invaded Mexico and installed the Habsburg prince Maximilian as emperor, an armed struggle mostly remembered through the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

A key episode in this saga took place in Puebla, where on May 5, 1862, the Mexican army repulsed the invaders in a battle commemorated today as the Cinco de Mayo. Although the French army returned the following year and vanquished the Mexican forces there, the famous holiday remains for many, mistakenly, an episode where the Mexican conclusively defeated the French, or even more misguidedly, as Mexican Independence date. It is important to note that Cinco de Mayo is not as important in Mexico as in the United States.

The album in the Hispanic Society documents fortresses and other buildings that the French army shelled during the second assault of Puebla in 1863. It thus documents a seldom shown aspect of this famous war: the extensive destruction that the city sustained after the ephemeral victory of the year before when Mexican forces halted the French advance. These albumen prints thus represent the physical scars of a second battle that few remember today.

A View from Outside: How distinguished visitors have seen our Collections

Pablo Helguera
Artist Research Fellow

selects

Anonymous French Military Photographer (Henri Berge ?), Album of Siege of Puebla 1863, Albumen prints, 1863

That Which Flourishes Within the Ruins:
The Cultural Legacy of a War

Wars leave traces- deep scars. They also leave concrete historic documentation as well as intangible signs of cultural impact. Such is the case of the French Intervention in Mexico (1862-67) when French forces invaded Mexico and installed the Habsburg prince Maximilian as emperor, an armed struggle mostly remembered through the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

A key episode in this saga took place in Puebla, where on May 5, 1862, the Mexican army repulsed the invaders in a battle commemorated today as the Cinco de Mayo. Although the French army returned the following year and vanquished the Mexican forces there, the famous holiday remains for many, mistakenly, an episode where the Mexican conclusively defeated the French, or even more misguidedly, as Mexican Independence date. It is important to note that Cinco de Mayo is not as important in Mexico as in the United States.

The album in the Hispanic Society documents fortresses and other buildings that the French army shelled during the second assault of Puebla in 1863. It thus documents a seldom shown aspect of this famous war: the extensive destruction that the city sustained after the ephemeral victory of the year before when Mexican forces halted the French advance. These albumen prints thus represent the physical scars of a second battle that few remember today.

HSM&L Kids | Do you know why we celebrate May 5th? What happened in Mexico on that date? Don't miss our next Workshop fo...
05/05/2021

HSM&L Kids | Do you know why we celebrate May 5th? What happened in Mexico on that date? Don't miss our next Workshop for Kids, created by Mexican artist Felipe Galindo, Feggo, who will explain the history of Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and why we celebrate it in the United States. He will also show you how to create your very own Talavera de Puebla plate!

Don’t forget to bring cardboard plates, eraser, ruler, markers, pencil colors and watercolor (optional) to make a fun craft and celebrate with everybody this special day!

Click here to watch the video and get creative: https://youtu.be/MfcjJOgswtw

Did you know, there are 34 paintings by self-taught Catalan artist Miguel Viladrich Vilá in the Hispanic Society’s colle...
05/04/2021

Did you know, there are 34 paintings by self-taught Catalan artist Miguel Viladrich Vilá in the Hispanic Society’s collection?

Miguel Viladrich Vilá, Bernarda. Oil on canvas. 1912

Did you know, there are 34 paintings by self-taught Catalan artist Miguel Viladrich Vilá in the Hispanic Society’s collection?

Miguel Viladrich Vilá, Bernarda. Oil on canvas. 1912

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Vision of Spain, Castilla (detail). Oil on canvas. 1913.
05/03/2021

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Vision of Spain, Castilla (detail). Oil on canvas. 1913.

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Vision of Spain, Castilla (detail). Oil on canvas. 1913.

Unknown Artist, Box. Wood, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell box, marquetry interior. Peru, ca. 1700
05/02/2021

Unknown Artist, Box. Wood, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell box, marquetry interior. Peru, ca. 1700

May is National Photography Month! The Hispanic Society Museum & Library's photography collection features more than 15,...
05/01/2021

May is National Photography Month!

The Hispanic Society Museum & Library's photography collection features more than 15,000 photographs taken by Hispanic Society curators and staff who traveled throughout Spain and Latin America in the 1920s, including some 14,000 photographs taken by Ruth Matilda Anderson, whose life and work we will feature throughout the month of May in our celebration of National Photography Month and in the next installment of The Women of the Hispanic Society.

The Department of Prints & Photographs was originally founded to document life and customs in Spain, but it contains objects in both media that constitute major works of art in their own right. The collection consists of over one 176,000 black and white images documenting art, culture, costumes, customs, and locales from 1850 onwards in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Philippines. Many of these images now preserve a way of life irrevocably lost. Among the rarest are those from the 19th century.

In general, the collection reflects Archer Milton Huntington’s vision of the Hispanic Society and his desire for a photographic archive of customs as well as art. Huntington had learned at an early age how useful photography could be for research when he amassed an impressive collection for his own studies, and he consistently stressed the importance of a photography collection in the Society.

All by Ruth Matilda Anderson | [1] Woman with offering, Festival of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, August 5, 1930 | [2] Luciano López, patrón de lancha, sentado sobre los aparejos de pesca
Cudillero, 8-10 de marzo, 1925 | [3] Redes secándose
Cudillero, 8-10 de marzo, 1925 | [4] La Ferrería. Escalera interior, Fuensanta de Buyeres de Nava, 13 de marzo, 1925

Lusterware Vase Neck from the Alhambra. Tin-glazed earthenware with cobalt and luster. Andalucia, Granada, Spain. 1375-1...
04/30/2021

Lusterware Vase Neck from the Alhambra. Tin-glazed earthenware with cobalt and luster. Andalucia, Granada, Spain. 1375-1400

Lusterware Vase Neck from the Alhambra. Tin-glazed earthenware with cobalt and luster. Andalucia, Granada, Spain. 1375-1400

04/29/2021

You're Invited! Join us on May 26th for our 2021 Virtual Benefit: History in the Making, a special evening of inspirational programming hosted by Hispanic Society Chairman, Philippe de Montebello. We will journey through the history of the Hispanic Society’s collections and landmarked buildings with trustee and TV personality Bob Vila, explore the history of the neighborhood with historian and author Matthew Spady, enjoy a conversation with Luis A. Miranda Jr, an icon of the arts in Upper Manhattan whose life is featured in the recent HBO documentary Siempre Luis, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award-winning actor, performer and writer known for his groundbreaking Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.

The program will also offer a sneak peek at our upcoming outdoor exhibition organized in collaboration with Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), Latinx Diaspora: Stories from Upper Manhattan, and a behind-the-scenes look at our collections with curators and conservators from the museum. Music performance by singer and percussionist David Freyre.

May 26, 2021 at 6:00PM
To learn more and purchase tickets, please visit: https://hispanicsociety.org/virtual_benefit_2021/

Images left to right: Francisco de Goya, Old man on a Swing, 1823-28; Francisco de Goya, The Duchess of Alba, 1797 (detail) | Rogelio de Egusquiza, Reclining Woman with Mirror, 1873 (detail) | Danny Peguero, Latinx Identity: The Voices of the Diaspora (1980s-1990s), (detail) | Background: Charles Pratt Huntington, Architectural drawing of the Museum, (detail)

Are you a Member of the Hispanic Society? Our Members enjoy exclusive events, including our monthly series, Las Tertulia...
04/28/2021

Are you a Member of the Hispanic Society? Our Members enjoy exclusive events, including our monthly series, Las Tertulias de Arte Hispano. The next Tertulia will take place on Tuesday, May 4th at 6 PM (EST). Join Philippe de Montebello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Guillaume Kientz, Director and CEO, and Dr. Patrick Lenaghan Head Curator of Prints, Photographs and Sculpture, for a talk and conversation titled “Capturing the Beauty of Daily Life: Ruth Anderson’s Photographs of 1920s Spain” in celebration of National Photography Month. The event will take place on YouTube Live.

To become a Member today, join here: https://hispanicsociety.org/support_us/membership/

Upcoming Tertulias:
June 1, 2021
Head of Conservation, Hélène Fontoira Marzin will present “Unveiling Via Crucis: Conservation Treatment of Christ Carrying the Cross by Juan de Valdés Leal”

July 6, 2021
Dr. Jerrilynn Dodds, Harlequin Adair Dammann Chair in the History of Art at Sarah Lawrence College, will present “I am a vessel for Musk”: A Treasure from the Spanish Caliphate (An Ivory Pyxis by Khalaf from Madinat Al-Zahra)

Are you a Member of the Hispanic Society? Our Members enjoy exclusive events, including our monthly series, Las Tertulias de Arte Hispano. The next Tertulia will take place on Tuesday, May 4th at 6 PM (EST). Join Philippe de Montebello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Guillaume Kientz, Director and CEO, and Dr. Patrick Lenaghan Head Curator of Prints, Photographs and Sculpture, for a talk and conversation titled “Capturing the Beauty of Daily Life: Ruth Anderson’s Photographs of 1920s Spain” in celebration of National Photography Month. The event will take place on YouTube Live.

To become a Member today, join here: https://hispanicsociety.org/support_us/membership/

Upcoming Tertulias:
June 1, 2021
Head of Conservation, Hélène Fontoira Marzin will present “Unveiling Via Crucis: Conservation Treatment of Christ Carrying the Cross by Juan de Valdés Leal”

July 6, 2021
Dr. Jerrilynn Dodds, Harlequin Adair Dammann Chair in the History of Art at Sarah Lawrence College, will present “I am a vessel for Musk”: A Treasure from the Spanish Caliphate (An Ivory Pyxis by Khalaf from Madinat Al-Zahra)

Francisco Domingo Marqués, By a Mosque Doorway. Oil on panel. 1874-1875
04/27/2021

Francisco Domingo Marqués, By a Mosque Doorway. Oil on panel. 1874-1875

Francisco Domingo Marqués, By a Mosque Doorway. Oil on panel. 1874-1875

These remarkable polychrome sculptures from 18th-century Quito strikingly present Catholic teaching on eschatology (the ...
04/26/2021

These remarkable polychrome sculptures from 18th-century Quito strikingly present Catholic teaching on eschatology (the fate of man after death). As understood at the time, death marked the separation of body and soul. In the first figure, a skeleton reveals the decomposition of the body as worms crawl up and over the various bones. At death, particular judgment was passed on the soul: if it had died in mortal sin, it would suffer the pains of hell; if it had died in grace but not free from fault, it was assigned to Purgatory, a place of suffering where the soul would be purified to become worthy of heaven; if it had died free from sin, it would enjoy the bliss of heaven.

The three figures thus display the possible outcomes for the soul. The flames of hell surround the damned figure who frantically claws at his chest, ripping his flesh out, as he screams and stares up with wide-open red eyes. Flames also encircle the soul in Purgatory who wears a crown of thorns to indicate his suffering. But although he looks up with a pained expression, the sculptor also suggests the soul’s contrition and expectant hope for heaven. The glass tears which have been delicately added thus play an important role in evoking the soul’s repentance. Surrounded by clouds and wearing a rich robe, the figure in heaven depicts the serene joy of the blessed souls.

Much about these sculptures remains unclear, beginning with their authorship. The most plausible candidate is Manuel Chili called Caspicara, the leading sculptor in Quito at the end of the 18th century. While no direct comparisons to his work exist, the figures reveal an exquisite mastery consistent with his style. No comparable set of four carved figures is known today either in viceregal Latin America or in Europe. It seems most likely that they were carved for private devotion in a small altar.

Attributed to Manuel Chili, called Caspicara, The Four Fates of Man. Polychromed wood, glass, and metal, ca. 1775

These remarkable polychrome sculptures from 18th-century Quito strikingly present Catholic teaching on eschatology (the fate of man after death). As understood at the time, death marked the separation of body and soul. In the first figure, a skeleton reveals the decomposition of the body as worms crawl up and over the various bones. At death, particular judgment was passed on the soul: if it had died in mortal sin, it would suffer the pains of hell; if it had died in grace but not free from fault, it was assigned to Purgatory, a place of suffering where the soul would be purified to become worthy of heaven; if it had died free from sin, it would enjoy the bliss of heaven.

The three figures thus display the possible outcomes for the soul. The flames of hell surround the damned figure who frantically claws at his chest, ripping his flesh out, as he screams and stares up with wide-open red eyes. Flames also encircle the soul in Purgatory who wears a crown of thorns to indicate his suffering. But although he looks up with a pained expression, the sculptor also suggests the soul’s contrition and expectant hope for heaven. The glass tears which have been delicately added thus play an important role in evoking the soul’s repentance. Surrounded by clouds and wearing a rich robe, the figure in heaven depicts the serene joy of the blessed souls.

Much about these sculptures remains unclear, beginning with their authorship. The most plausible candidate is Manuel Chili called Caspicara, the leading sculptor in Quito at the end of the 18th century. While no direct comparisons to his work exist, the figures reveal an exquisite mastery consistent with his style. No comparable set of four carved figures is known today either in viceregal Latin America or in Europe. It seems most likely that they were carved for private devotion in a small altar.

Attributed to Manuel Chili, called Caspicara, The Four Fates of Man. Polychromed wood, glass, and metal, ca. 1775

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613 W 155th St
New York, NY
10032

The Hispanic Society Museum & Library is located on Broadway between 155th and 156th Streets in New York City | Buses: M4 or M5 to Broadway and 155th Street | Subway: Number 1 to Broadway and 157th Street

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