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Promoting Knowledge Exchange: BESTROM collaborates with the National Gallery of Washington

Promoting Knowledge Exchange: BESTROM collaborates with the National Gallery of Washington

We are glad to announce that María Sierra, the RL of BESTROM, and Miguel Angel Vargas,  Roma researcher and artist who closely collaborates with this project, have been invited to participate in the Conversation Group of Experts formed with the occasion of the exhibition Sargent and Spain.

 The exhibition, which will consist of approximately 150 oils, watercolors, drawings, and collected photographs that document the immersion of the painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) in Spain’s culture, is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Now is time for preparative tasks: the exhibition, will be presented at the Gallery in October 2022 and at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco later.

20 Captura de pantalla 2021 03 03 a las 18.41.47From his first trip to Spain to his last, Sargent was fascinated with the dance, music, and other traditions of the Roma people in Andalusia. He is known to have visited the cities of Granada, Seville, Guadix, and Cádiz during his trips of 1879, 1895, and 1912. The exhibition will display several of Sargent’s paintings, watercolors, and drawings that depict Roma people, as well as photographs of Roma people collected by the artist.

The exhibition curators are Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, leading authorities on Sargent; and Sarah Cash, associate curator of American and British paintings at the National Gallery of Art. The exhibition publication will comprise a series of essays that examine the show’s fundamental themes by these scholars and several others. Where appropriate, the essays will address the important issues of gender, race, class, and identity raised by Sargent’20 Captura de pantalla 2021 03 03 a las 18.42.03s depiction of Roma dancers.

The Roma People Conversation Group comprise individuals knowledgeable about the history and culture of the Roma people in Spain. The overarching goal of the Group is to expand perspectives on the Roma people, beyond those conveyed by Sargent’s art and collections. The discussions will help shape the Gallery’s interpretive approach to Sargent’s renderings of Spanish Roma families, dancers, musicians, and other individuals in its print and digital texts, the accompanying publication, related programming, and marketing/public relations initiatives.

In the first meeting, held in March 3rd 2021, the Group has discussed how can most accurately and empathetically be addressed the topic of the Spanish Roma people in the language used in the project. This language will encompass both words and interpretation used in the titles of works of art, the print and digital interpretive writing associated with the exhibition, the exhibition catalogue and a wide range of exhibition programs to be organized.


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