Royal Collections Museum
25 years ago, the Guggenheim Museum opened in Spain and the building itself felt like part of the extensive exhibition. Today, architects and art historians from all over Spain hope to recapture that essence with the opening of the new Royal Collections Museum on June 29th.
The museum cost a whopping €172 million to set up, and features 650 pieces of art spanning over five centuries. The president of the Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage) Organization, Ana De La Cueva says that the works displayed at the museum are a “representative” selection from the 170,000 artworks in the 19 palaces in Spain, including pieces from Velázquez, Caravaggio, Goya and Cervantes.
The building was designed by Emilio Tunon and Luis Mansilla who won an American Architecture Award for the design which is constructed with white concrete, granite and earthy tones of oak, overlooking the gardens of the Royal Palace and the Casa de Campo park.
The museum also has on display works of art never seen before, like a “Saint Micheal The Archangel Defeating the Devil” sculpture by Luisa Roldan, the first Spanish court sculptor to be female. This is one of three works signed by their female artists, which was extremely uncommon throughout history because related men often took credit for their work.
The idea of this museum itself is also rooted in history, gaining traction in the 1990s after floating around for more than 60 years prior. The museum also shines light on the Islamic history of Madrid which was previously not highlighted significantly.