Patricia Phelps de Cisneros entrusts Museum University of Navarra with her photgraphy collection

The collector’s donation reflects her view of the Museum University of Navarra as the ideal place for the conservation, academic study and dissemination of photography

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Patricia Phelps de Cisneros y Jaime García del Barrio en la firma del acuerdo de donación, en Madrid. FOTO: PILAR MARTÍN BRAVO
03/01/19 13:33 Elisa Montserrat

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has donated a selection of photographs from her renowned collection to the Museum University of Navarra. The donation consists of 49 pieces, most by 20th- and 21st-century Latin American artists, including works by Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955), Juan Uslé (Spain, 1954), Héctor Fuenmayor (Venezuela, 1949), Roberto Obregón (Colombia/Venezuela, 1946-2003), Mariana Castillo Deball (Mexico, 1975) and Miguel Rio Branco (Brazil, 1946).

In the words of Patricia de Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo de Cisneros, “Our chief aim is to promote education. In recent decades, in addition to organizing various educational programmes, we have worked closely with universities and their museums, including Harvard, NYU, the University of Texas at Austin, Hunter College, Wheaton College and City University of New York.”

A unique aspect of this donation is the Venezuelan collector’s express request that the photographs be studied by students enrolled in the Master’s Degree in Curatorial Studies, the only postgraduate course in Spain that offers academic training for art curators. Teaching staff, researchers and students from other schools will also have access to the donation, thereby promoting the analysis of artistic photography from the viewpoint of different knowledge branches. The research findings and results will lead to the publication of articles and papers.

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has been generously and selflessly helping the Museum University of Navarra since before it was even inaugurated in 2015. She was especially interested in the Museum’s substantial photography collection, its university status and the interdisciplinary nature of its artistic programme.

Jaime García del Barrio, Managing Director of the Museum University of Navarra, said, “After all these years of working with Gustavo and Patricia, we are extremely grateful for their donation. But, above all, we are proud that the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, which is so influential and well-represented in the world’s best museums, considers our museum to be the best place to house, conserve and study a part of its collection.”

According to García del Barrio, the recently acquired pieces “will help strengthen the value and knowledge that underpin our extensive photographic collection and will highlight the rich inclusiveness so prevalent in our collection, which features artists from many different nations.”

The Museum University of Navarra Collection is composed of more than 23,000 photographs by Spanish and foreign artists spanning the history of photography from the origins of the technique in the mid-19th century to the present day.

Other donations from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros have been received by renowned museums in Latin America, the United States and Europe, including MoMA in New York, the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art (MAMBA), the Lima Art Museum (MALI), Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.

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