This photograph records the day representatives of Museo del Prado, Madrid, and of Auckland Castle, County Durham, signed a formal agreement on a joint fellowship. The North East has real riches of Spanish Art, and this collaboration with Museo del Prado, one of the world’s foremost art museums, will help the region build an unparalleled centre of excellence for Spanish History of Art and Culture in the United Kingdom.
According to the Prado’s own announcement:
For its part, the Auckland Castle Trust will finance the Museo del Prado-Auckland Castle Fellowship, initially for one year duration but which can be extended up to three years, for the development of projects common to both organisations.
Both organisations will establish a programme, of a minimum of three years duration, to plan and define proposals for small format exhibitions in Auckland Castle which demonstrate the breadth of the collections of the Prado and which contextualise the collections at Auckland; also activities linked to the loans, and activities which can be included in academic programmes, exhibitions, research and publications.
Only a few years ago the grand plans for a restored Auckland Castle seemed far away. Yet now the Castle is now being packed up ready for restoration and re-opening, grand plans for the gardens have gained momentum, and Kynren opened with a dazzling first season. The town’s marketplace will now house two wonderful new galleries: this, in collaboration with Museo del Prado – unique outside Spain – where visitors will see El Grecos, Zurbarans and more; nearby, a new Mining Art Gallery, exploring the talented local artists whose dramatic and realistic depictions of pit life are developing a growing following.
Happily plans for Bishop Auckland include a new Welcome Centre where visitors can find out what is on and plan their day (realistically, days, given the number of new museums, gardens and activities): there really will be a great deal to see.
From left to right: Óscar Fanjul, Deputy Director of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado; Miguel Zugaza, director of the Museo del Prado; José Pedro Pérez-Llorca, Chairman of the Board of Trustess of the Museo del Prado; Jonathan Ruffer, Chair of the Trustees of Auckland Castle Trust; Christopher Ferguson, Curatorial, Conservation and Exhibitions of Auckland Castle Trust and Miguel Falomir, Deputy Director of the Museo del Prado, after the signing of the agreement between the Museo del Prado and Auckland Castle Trust. © Museo Nacional del Prado