Today was our 2nd museum day in Madrid. This national museum, mainly dedicated to Spanish art, was officially inaugurated on September 10, 1992. Named for Queen Sofía, it is one of the three top art museums in Madrid.
Following the museum floor plan, J.J. and I walked through exhibition halls spread out over 4 floors. Elementary school children were also visiting. Groups led by museum docents and teachers sat on the floor in front of various paintings. Their eyes glued to the art work and were in total attention. It was delightful to see young children being exposed to great master pieces including that of Picasso and Dali. I can imagine how much our granddaughter would enjoy seeing these works of Spanish masters in person.
Security guards were posted in each rooms acknowledging your presence with a nod. However, before we approached the room where Picasso’s Guernica, the most famous masterpiece in the museum is hanging, the number of security guards quadrupled. School children sitting on the floor and other visitors pressing to get a little more closer look was not the most ideal condition to appreciate this powerful and controversial work by Picasso.
What J.J. and I enjoyed was reading typewritten letters in the glass display case in the Guernica room. The letters were by museum curators requesting and granting the Guernica for traveling exhibits. J.J. and I had to chuckle when the curator of the Pittsburgh Museum of Art requested for a discount off the $1,000 fee. The date in the letter was early 1950 so $1,000 was a substantial sum. No photos were permitted on the floor where Guernica is exhibited.
The courtyard was nearly empty as it was chilly outdoors. I was happy to be able to photograph Alexander Calder’s impressive mobile, “Carmen” with red and yellow colors on one side and white on the opposite.
Unexpected piece is “Pájaro Lunar” (Moon Bird) by Joan Miró. Though I am well versed with Miró’s work, this sculpture was unfamiliar, yet evident of his whimsical interpretation of subjects.