We frequently loan out objects to other museums, just as we frequently borrow objects for our exhibitions. Our hit exhibition this summer, Fragile Waters, was all borrowed material. We recently sent a painting that is a vital part of our Age of Exploration gallery out on loan. While we would not ordinarily loan an object that was on display at our institution, we decided to make an exception because this piece was considered to be very important for the exhibition. The painting I am referring to (pictured below) is titled Christopher Columbus leaving Palos, Spain painted ca 1910 by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. Sorolla wanted this portrait of Columbus to be as accurate as possible, so he did a considerable amount of research, sketches and even had a descendant of Columbus, the Duke of Veragua, pose for the painting.
This brings me to the loan bit. We loaned it to the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for their exhibition Sorrolla & America. The exhibition opened on December 13 and will remain there until April 19, 2014. After Texas it will be heading to The San Diego Museum of Art (May 30-August 26, 2014) and Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid (September 23, 2014-January 11, 2015). What excited us was that The Meadows Museum sent us a picture of a special visitor with our painting after the exhibition had opened, former President George W. Bush! (pictured below) I’ve got to say, it’s pretty cool that a former President has been photographed with our painting.
I also like this photograph because it gives people a good idea of how large the painting actually is. Moving it is always interesting. So that our Age of Exploration gallery would not seem so empty, we had a reproduction of the piece made, although it is a little bit smaller than the original. It’s much better than having a large blank wall though. I hope that any readers who have the opportunity will stop by and visit our painting while it is taking a vacation from the Museum.