Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida was a Valencian Spanish painter who excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land. Sorolla and America, The San Diego Museum of Art’s largest and most anticipated exhibition of 2014, will focus on the relationship that the artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida had with the United States. The works in the exhibition will aim to provide an in-depth study of this connection, specifically with regard to how this country affected the artist, as well as how Sorolla was received by American audiences at large.
This stunning exhibition will bring together works of art from prestigious museums and private collections in Europe and Latin America, as well as from collections here in the United States. Several of the works from private collectors have never before been publicly exhibited and we cherish the opportunity to introduce these pieces to audiences here in San Diego, as well as to art lovers around the world. With nearly 160 works by Sorolla, our show will feature even more paintings and works on paper than the much-celebrated 2009 show at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The Sorolla exhibition at The Prado broke attendance records that had been standing for 10 years at the museum - and we know our exhibition will be met with equal enthusiasm. The exhibition will also touch on and address the repercussions of the exhibitions of Sorolla’s art in early twentieth-century America on every level: artistic, documentary, and financial. Through revealing these various facets, the exhibition will allow visitors an opportunity to understand the significance and quality of this great Spanish painter. Included in the exhibition are works from very early on in the artist’s career, followed by work from the period when he had a very fruitful relationship with the philanthropist and scholar, Archer Milton Huntington, who founded the Hispanic Society of America.
The exhibition will continue with a study of both portraits of Americans painted by Sorolla in their homes, as well as paintings by Sorolla that were exhibited or acquired by American institutions or individuals. A number of significant small-format sketches in American collections will be presented, as well.
The museum’s hard costs for this exhibition are expected to total more than $665,000. The overall cost of bringing the show to our museum nears $1 million, taking into consideration the staff time dedicated to this show by our curators and educators, as well as the design and installation staff. The exhibition runs from May 31 to August 26, 2014. We hope that you will consider supporting this exhibition with a gift. We will be happy to recognize your gift on the credit lines for the Sorolla and America exhibit.