NY: Little Known Museum a Hidden Jewel

Published Date Author: , April 25th, 2012

Hispanic Society of America - New YorkSituated behind a wrought-iron gate on an attractive brick terrace in upper Manhattan, the Hispanic Society of America is an imposing museum and research library. It has a world-class collection of Iberian art that includes works from such masters as Goya, Velazquez and El Greco, and monumental sculptures by Anna Hyatt Huntington, the wife of the society’s founder.

Yet the 104-year-old institution in Washington Heights, just blocks from the Audubon Ballroom where Malcolm X was assassinated, is not high on the itinerary of many tourists – or even New Yorkers. Some don’t even know it exists. The Society had briefly contemplated abandoning the area for more tourist-accessible locations downtown like some of its former neighbors: the American Numismatic Society and the Museum of the American Indian. But it has resolved to stay.

It has a new advisory board and marketing strategy and a magnificent renovated gallery dedicated to 14 huge paintings by revered Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla, canvasses founder Archer Huntington commissioned in 1911 specifically for the room. Executive director Mitchell Codding said the institution’s Sorolla collection is the largest outside of Spain.

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