City Life Org – Sorolla Gouaches at the National Arts Club for the first exhibition in the United States

Sketch for the Provinces of Spain: Castile. Gouache on paper, 1912-1913

A masterpiece in the making: the gouaches of Joaquín Sorolla for the vision of Spain Opens as a collaborative exhibition at the National Arts Club

The National Arts Club and the Hispanic Society Museum & Library team up to present Sorolla’s rarely seen gouaches from the museum’s permanent collection

Free and open to the public from January 17 to April 26, 2023

The National Arts Club (NAC) and Hispanic Society Museum and Library (HSM&L) present A masterpiece in the making: the gouaches of Joaquín Sorolla for the vision of Spaina collaborative exhibition presented at the National Arts Club from January 17 to April 26, 2023.

“We relish this opportunity to partner with the Hispanic Society, bringing our two historic institutions together for the first time,” said Ben Hartley, CEO of the NAC. “Through collaboration, arts organizations like ours can find new ways to showcase great artists and their work. »

The exhibition, which opens during Master Drawings Week, commemorates Valencian master Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida – the preeminent artist in Spain at the turn of the 20th century – on his centenary. On display are Sorolla’s rarely seen preparatory sketches for paintings in HSM&L’s Sorolla Gallery, Vision of Spain. The Sorolla Gallery houses 14 monumental paintings dedicated to Spain, where the viewer is surrounded by the peoples, costumes and traditions of the different regions of the country. The gallery is considered one of New York City’s gems and a “must visit” if not a pilgrimage trip.

“We are delighted to partner with the National Arts Club for this very timely exhibition, which opens on the heels of the reopening of the Sorolla Gallery by the Hispanic Society Museum & Library,” said Guillaume Kientz, Director and CEO of HSM&L. . “We couldn’t think of a more suitable partner to help bring this exhibition to life and we look forward to continuing this collaboration in the future.”

This is the first time the works have been exhibited in the United States.

A masterpiece in the making is free and open to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The NAC is located in the historic Samuel Tilden Mansion at 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY. Additional exhibit details are available at

A schedule of special events coinciding with the exhibition will be announced at a later date.


Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (Valencia, 1863-Cercedilla, Madrid, 1923) was the best-known Spanish artist at the turn of the 20th century. Orphaned at the age of two, he was raised by an aunt and her locksmith husband. His talent was recognized from an early age and he found support for artistic studies that eventually led him to the Spanish Academy in Rome and to Paris.

Sorolla also found a mentor in Valencian photographer Antonio García, whose daughter, Clotilde García del Castillo, Sorolla would marry in 1888. In 1900, when he won the Grand Prix and a medal of honor at the Universal Exhibition from Paris, he had already mounted a series of international exhibitions that would come to include Madrid, Paris, London, Munich, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Boston, Buffalo and Saint Louis, among others. His painting, Another Marguerite, 1892, first prize at Chicago in 1893, was his first painting to enter an American collection.

The artist came to the attention of Archer Milton Huntington, founder of the Hispanic Society of America, at the 1908 exhibition in London. Huntington presented Sorolla with an exhibition at the Society in February 1909 which became one of the first “blockbusters” in New York museums, attracting 168,000 visitors in four weeks, with similar success in Boston and Buffalo, and an invitation to play President William Howard Taft.

A second exhibition in 1911 visited Chicago and Saint Louis, and that year Huntington commissioned the large-scale murals – one of New York’s most important decorated interior spaces – variously referred to as the provinces (or regions) of Spain and An Artist’s Vision of Spain (Visión de España), painted between 1912 and 1919. The paintings, and the 58 large-scale preparatory gouache studies Sorolla made for them, only arrived in New York only in 1923, after the death of the artist.

Huntington also acquired numerous oil paintings, oil sketches and drawings; with subsequent acquisitions. Today, the collection has 268 works.


Founded in 1898, the National Arts Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts. arts. Each year, the Club offers more than 150 free programs – in person and virtually – to the public, including exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, lectures and readings, attracting an audience of more than 30,000 in-person visitors and thousands more online. Featured shows focus on all artistic disciplines.

Since 2019, the Club has been experiencing a renaissance. New initiatives, such as an artist grant, an outdoor concert series and online programming, have attracted new audiences. At the NAC’s signature pavilion, the former Samuel Tilden Mansion, efforts have been made to redesign, renovate and preserve the building’s galleries and historic spaces.

The NAC is also a proud community partner, providing art therapy classes to children in the care of the Children’s Services Administration, regularly bringing together New York City art leaders to share ideas and collaborate, presenting a popular concert series in conjunction with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and more.

For a full list of events or to learn more, please visit


The Hispanic Society Museum & Library (HSM&L) is the leading institution and reference library dedicated solely to the preservation, study, understanding, exhibition and enjoyment of the art and cultures of Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries and communities. . Located in Upper Manhattan in the vibrant neighborhood of Washington Heights, the institution has, since its inception, remained free, providing unparalleled access to the largest collection of Hispanic art and literature outside of Spain and of Latin America.

HSM&L’s permanent collection is unrivaled in its breadth and quality, with half a million items that deal with almost every aspect of the cultures in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, from antiquity to the present day. HSM&L is unparalleled in the multidisciplinarity and broad historical and geographic reach of its art collection and library, highlighting the incredible breadth of Hispanic art and cultures through its diverse religious, cultural, and geographic influences. The collection includes masterpieces by El Greco, Velázquez, Rodríguez Juárez, Goya, Campeche, Arrieta, Sorolla, Orozco and Tàpies; sculptures by Pedro de Mena, Luisa Roldán and Caspicara and masterpieces in all areas of decorative arts. The collections of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books are among the most extensive outside of Spain and the library is available as a preeminent center for research into the history, art and cultures of the Hispanic world. It is open to the public by appointment.

Founded in 1904 by American scholar, philanthropist and collector Archer M. Huntington, HSM&L was created out of a passion and curiosity for Hispanic and Latin American art, cultures and history. . While HSM&L is one of New York City’s most historic cultural institutions, the organization has continued to adapt and serve the local community and growing Hispanic and Latino populations in the United States. United, opening its doors to inspire, enrich and educate the public.

Under the leadership of CEO and Director Guillaume Kientz and in the spirit of inclusivity, HSM&L is fervently committed to giving voice and providing space for Portuguese and Spanish speaking communities and cultures. Through special exhibitions, a permanent collection, loans, education, support for living artists, public programs and research, HSM&L continues to reinvent the potential of a museum and its ability to spark a biggest change.

To learn more, please visit

James C. Tibbs