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This collection contains the documentation produced by the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona during its years of operation (1959-1967). It also contains documentation on the museum generated by third parties and institutions with which it had a relationship, such as the Salón Femenino de Arte Actual (Women’s Salon of Modern Art).

Technical details

Author:
Identification number:
A.MAR.F
Language:
Spanish, Catalan, French
Descripción:

0,69 m (2 capses, 112 unitats documentals), paper

Date:
1953-1985
Credit:

Col·lecció MACBA. Centre d'Estudis i Documentació. Fons Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (1959-1967)


Holdings author

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona 1959 -1967

The fonds brings together documents generated by the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona during it existence (1959–67). It also contains information about the museum generated by third parties and institutions with which it maintained relations, such as the Salón Femenino de Arte Actual (Women’s Salon of Modern Art).

It seems likely that the management of the museum preserved documents of the Associació d'Artistes Actuals (AAA), which organised the May Salons, since this institution is related to the creation of the museum.

With the liquidation and transfer of the museum, various members of the management team retained part of the fonds and this was supplemented by documentation belonging to other related entities, such as Sección de Arte Contemporáneo de la Biblioteca Museo Víctor Balaguer in Vilanova i la Geltrú and the Museu d’Art Contemporani dels Països Catalans de Banyoles.

The material is organised into four sections corresponding to the different entities involved in the creation of a museum of contemporary art in Catalonia, in chronological order: the Associació d’Artistes Actuals (AAA) ; the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (1959–67); the Salón Femenino de Arte Actual and the successors to the museum (the Sección de Arte Contemporáneo de la Biblioteca Museo Víctor Balaguer in Vilanova i la Geltrú and the Museu d’Art Contemporani dels Països Catalans de Banyoles).

The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona was founded in 1959 as a corporate entity, thanks to the initiative of a group of personalities from the world of culture, which included the critic and art historian Alexandre Cirici Pellicer and Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera. The aim of this initiative was to disseminate and promote Catalan contemporary art. On 21 June 1960 the first exhibition was opened in the Cúpula of the Coliseum cinema, in a venue lent by the Fomento de las Artes y del Diseño (FAD). A total of 23 solo and group shows were held, featuring artists of the time such as Antoni Bonet, Jordi Curós, Josep Maria de Sucre, Jean Fautrier, Ángel Ferrant, August Puig, Albert Ràfols-Casamada, Romà Vallès and Moisès Villèlia, among others.

The opening of the museum was the culmination of a series of actions aimed at promoting contemporary art, which began with the creation of Club 49 in 1949, and the Association d’Artistes Actuals (AAA) in 1953, which organised the Salones de Mayo (May Salons). It is significant that the statutes of the AAA already anticipated the creation of a museum of contemporary art.

Aside from these early initiatives, a final and controversial touring exhibition was realised in February 1963: El arte y la paz (Art and Peace). An exhibition with a forceful political content, it met with the censorship of the Franco dictatorship. Together with the difficulties of finding a suitable site and the necessary financial support, this complicated the evolution of the museum. After a long period of unsuccessful negotiations with the Diputación de Barcelona (Barcelona Council), between 1962 and 1966, the entity was dissolved in 1967 and the works of art transferred to the Biblioteca Museo Víctor Balaguer in Vilanova i la Geltrú . Despite the will to continue the museum, and the creation of a specific section of contemporary art in the new location, the project lost its initial momentum and was not carried through.

In the eighties, the City Council of Banyoles took over the initiative to create a museum of contemporary art, in order to reflect the work of artists active in the Catalan-speaking world. The project was never formalised, but it revived the need for a museum of contemporary art in Catalonia, eventually leading to the creation of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) in 1995.

Tot i l’impuls donat, el febrer de 1963 es va realitzar l’última i polèmica exposició itinerant L’art i la pau. Una mostra, d’un compromís polític evident, va topar amb les idees del règim polític del moment. Aquest fet, juntament amb les dificultats per trobar un emplaçament adient i un suport econòmic, van complicar l’evolució del museu. Després d’un llarg període de negociacions amb la Diputació de Barcelona, entre 1962 i 1966, amb la finalitat d’aconseguir que recolzés la institució, la societat es va dissoldre i el 1967 les obres d’art van passar a la Biblioteca Museo Víctor Balaguer de Vilanova i la Geltrú, instal·lat al castell del municipi. Malgrat la voluntat de donar una continuïtat al museu creant una secció específica d’art contemporani al nou emplaçament, el projecte va perdre el seu impuls inicial i no es va dur a terme.

Als anys vuitanta l’Ajuntament de Banyoles va prendre el relleu en la iniciativa de crear un museu d’art contemporani que amb l’objectiu de reflectir l’activitat dels artistes actius als Països Catalans. No es va arribar a formalitzar el projecte, però es va revifar la necessitat de tenir un museu d’art contemporani a Catalunya, esperit amb el que es va crear el Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) el 1995.

 
Museum precedents

  Asociación de Artistas Actuales

 

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (1959-1967)

 Museum foundation and management

 Guerra de Museos

 Negotations with Barcelona Provincial Council

 Museo De Arte Del Siglo XX - The Brugués project

 Liquidation of the Company

 Transfer to the Library - Victor Balaguer Museum

 Exhibitions

 

Parallel institutions

 Salón Femenino de Arte Actual

 

Museum successors

 Museu d'Art Contemporani dels Països Catalans

 Sección De Arte Contemporáneo De La Biblioteca - Museo Víctor Balaguer

I believe an artwork should leave the viewer perplexed, make him reflect on the meaning of life
Antoni Tàpies