A Small Prado on the Prairie

The Meadows Museum, SMU, and the Prado Museum have established an unprecedented partnership resulting in a number of important exhibitions on Spanish artists such as El Greco, Jusepe de Ribero, Diego Velazquez, and most recently Martin Rico. In conjunction with these exhibitions, bilingual catalogs with new research have been published, international symposia have been organized, and curatorial fellowships have taken place in both institutions. This growing relationship has been beneficial for the staff of both museums as they share experiences that advance their professional careers.

The exhibitions have significantly furthered the appreciation and understanding of Spanish art, and the fellowship experience has helped young art historians prepare for a future in the museum world. The ongoing alliance has also set an example for other museums on how to develop and maintain these strategic partnerships in a world that is only becoming more global and competitive. Moreover, it has created a stable platform from which to develop relationships with other museums, such as the Kunsthalle in Hamburg (Germany), which is collaborating with the Prado and the Meadows on an exhibition of their finest Spanish drawings. A moment of personal satisfaction was to see for the first time the logo of the Meadows Museum featured on the walls of the Prado on the occasion of the Rico exhibition, a symbol that testifies to the collegial working relationship between both institutions.

Thanks to all these efforts, the Meadows Museum continues to be the center for Spanish art in America and carries on the vision of its founder, Algur H. Meadows, who in 1965 stated that he “wanted to make a small Prado in Texas.”

The funding of the director position by the Custard family, a donation that was matched by the Foundation, resulted in the first endowed position in this history of the Meadows Museum. Other high points of Foundation funding include key acquisitions that were made through the Foundation’s challenge grant; the innovative programing developed for the education department to make art accessible to everyone; and insightful lectures, such as the international symposium on Spanish and Latin American contemporary art organized by the Meadows Museum in association with several universities and museums in both Europe and the Americas. We are so proud to be able to carry on Algur H. Meadows’ vision in such as engaging way and are so thankful for the support of The Meadows Foundation, which makes it possible for the Meadows Museum to make Spanish art relevant, important, and fun for our visitors.