Golden Opportunities
Meadows Museum Director Perspective
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Meadows Museum's Exhibition Programming During Golden Anniversary Director of the Meadows Museum - Mark A. Roglan
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Since its founding in 1965, the Meadows Museum has become the most highly regarded museum of Spanish art in America. Founder Algur H. Meadows’ vision of creating a “Prado for Texas” has come true.

It is my distinct honor to serve as the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair at the Meadows School of the Arts at this auspicious time. The Meadows Museum is truly unique, with a supportive University leadership; a focused collection of Spanish art; a generous and consistent patronage; a fantastic board; and most importantly, a family dedicated to the vision of its founder, Algur H. Meadows. The recent historic gift from The Meadows Foundation, under the leadership of Linda P. Evans, grandniece of our founder, helps exemplify this ongoing support. In fact, Algur Meadows’ vision of creating a “Prado for Texas” vividly carries on, and I hope he would be proud of everything that has been accomplished all these years and the promising future before us.

It has been 50 years since the Meadows Museum opened its doors and made its renowned Spanish collection available to the public. Since the death of Algur Meadows in 1978, the museum has followed his vision and continued to grow. The collection has more than doubled in size, and a grand new building was dedicated in 2001. The institution has also focused on making research and scholarship central to its mission, developing major educational initiatives, including lectures, fellowships and inclusive programming. Through active participation in the academic and educational life of SMU and collaboration with faculty across campus, the museum has helped develop fertile initiatives over the years, including classes, workshops and other learning opportunities for our students that have often become career-changing experiences. Moreover, the museum has also organized exhibitions and published insightful catalogues and books to accompany these projects. All of these exciting developments have made the Meadows Museum the center for Spanish art in America. In fact, we are the only museum in the world to have an ongoing partnership with the Prado Museum in Spain; to provide yearly major exhibitions focused on the art of Spain; and to maintain a growing network of fellows and scholars interested in the study of Spain’s art and culture. It is our hope that, sooner or later, anyone interested in Spain and its art will come to experience the Meadows.

As the Meadows Museum’s collection was assembled with the vision of Algur Meadows, we wanted the exhibition programming during our golden anniversary year to focus on the idea of taste and collecting. The Abelló Collection perfectly suited this theme; a vast portion of this private Spanish collection is comprised of works by many of Spain’s greatest talents. The owners, successful businessman Juan Abelló and his remarkable wife, Anna Gamazo, also share a passion for modern and contemporary art, which, coincidentally, Algur Meadows also collected with zest, including works by Jackson Pollock, Alberto Giacometti and Franz Kline. It is truly impressive to see the outstanding collection the Abellós have assembled throughout their lives.

We are proud to note that, through August 2 of this year, we were the exclusive venue in the United States to feature the treasures of the Abelló Collection, the first time that a major private collection from Spain had ever been shown at the Meadows Museum. While this most distinguished family was previously very generous to our institution in lending 65 drawings for the 2008 exhibition From Manet to Miró: Modern Drawings from the Abelló Collection, that was only a small portion of their holdings. With The Abelló Collection: A Modern Taste for European Masters, we were able to present the majority of the collection’s highlights: a total of 105 paintings, drawings and one sculpture, all of which testified to the depth and quality of the art in the collection.

Closing the year we have another major private collection from Spain on view in the U.S. for the first time: Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting. This exhibition runs from September 11 through January 3, 2016, and features over 100 objects from this most distinguished noble Spanish family. In contrast to Abelló, the Alba collection is the result of 19 generations of collecting, from the 1400s to the present. Major treasures never before seen outside of Spain, including Fra Angelico’s Madonna of the Pomegranate and Goya’s The Duchess of Alba in White, may be seen, along with incredible archival materials such as Columbus’s first map of the New World; the Alba Bible, the first Bible to be translated directly from Hebrew to Castilian in the 1430s; and a first edition of Cervantes’ famous novel Don Quixote, among many other prized objects. The exhibition encompasses most of the second floor of the Meadows Museum and showcases the history of taste in the family from medieval times to today.

I would like to invite everyone reading these lines to experience the Meadows today and come discover this museum, a cultural embassy of Spanish art in the heart of America.

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