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Editorial: ‘Visions of Hispanic World’ a must-see ABQ experience

On the heels of the resounding success of “Da Vinci – The Genius” at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, another Albuquerque museum is making a big splash with an exhibition celebrating 3,000 years of Spanish art and culture.

“The Duchess of Alba,” oil on canvas by Francisco de Goya, 1797, is one treasure on display.

The Albuquerque Museum is the first stop in the U.S. for “Visions of the Hispanic World.” The historic collection features 200 items from the Iberian Peninsula such as paintings, sculpture and illuminated manuscripts – including a letter from Queen Elizabeth I to King Philip II of Spain, a Hebrew bible, ceramics, fiber and jewelry.

Highlights include everything from the romantic images of Francisco de Goya to prehistoric vessels, works by El Greco and the works of Spanish Golden Age painter Diego Velásquez.

The exhibit has been featured in some of the greatest art museums in the world, including Spain’s Museo Nacional del Prado and the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. After Albuquerque, the show will move to Cincinnati and Houston.

The treasurers are from New York’s Hispanic Society Museum and Library.

Albuquerque Museum Director Andrew Connors said that when the exhibit opened at the Prado, “the Spanish press went insane. It’s a much more comprehensive view of Spanish traditions than any museum in Spain could provide. The Prado doesn’t collect this diversity. I think there was a great sense of pride.”

He said the exhibit represents arguably the most comprehensive display ever shown in Albuquerque.

Kudos to the Albuquerque Museum and its amazing staff for negotiating the complex logistics to bring this spectacular, one-of-a-kind collection to our state and city. This is an incredible opportunity for many in Albuquerque and New Mexico to explore their roots. And for everyone else, it’s an opportunity to experience world class art in our own backyard.

The show is split into two chronological parts. The first part opened earlier this month; the second opens Dec. 22 and runs through March 31.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.