by Claire Selvin
Since becoming chairman of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York in 2015, former Metropolitan Museum of Art director Philippe de Montebello has been working to raise the profile of the too-little-known museum, which is currently closed for renovations. In 2017, he sent a trove of its Old Master paintings on a tour that began at the Prado in Madrid and that will visit Cincinnati and Houston over the next year.
Now de Montebello is planning a short-term presentation of works from the Hispanic Society during the Winter Show, the annual fair of art and antiques that next runs at the Park Avenue Armory from January 24 to February 2.
The exhibition is being curated by de Montebello and architect Peter Marino, and will include pieces from the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, and the Philippines. Titled “Unrivaled,” it will position works by Diego Velázquez, El Greco, and Francisco de Goya alongside an 18th-century painting from the Cuzco School in Peru and a 17th-century ceramic vessel from Portugal. Other highlights are a painting created by John Singer Sargent during his travels in Spain in the late-19th century and a work by the Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla.
De Montebello said in a statement, “The loan exhibition is drawn from a collection devoted to telling the rich stories of the Hispanic world. With a focus on all facets of art, literature, and culture, we strive to broaden understandings of the complex cultures of the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, and the Philippines, and their global impact.”
Hellen Allen, the Winter Show’s executive director, added that the show “offers us the opportunity to share the institution’s collection of remarkable paintings and objects from around the world, reinforcing the Winter Show’s mission, which is truly global in scope.”