On a blustery Saturday in April, about 20 Greeters visited the Museum at the Hispanic Society of America. Our extraordinary guide, Andrea Ortuno, was both passionate and funny. Andrea is a doctoral candidate in art history and has worked at the Society for several years. She had such personality; we hung on her every word.
The Museum is in a beautiful 1908 Beaux Arts building located on West 155th Street. It is very accessible since it is right across the street from the #1 subway. This free Museum focuses on the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. It is so chock full of fascinating exhibits, a day could fly by without your losing interest.
There are room-sized paintings – an entire collection, in fact – by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. The paintings illustrate the different regions of Spain. There are beautiful sculptures, ceramics, pottery, and exquisite furniture.
The Society was founded in 1804 by Archer Milton Huntington. Coming from a wealthy shipping family, Huntington wanted to “reflect the soul of Spain through works of the hand and spirit”. The art is not just Hispanic – there are artifacts from India with a Portugese influence as well as Mexican pottery with an Asian feel – a true coming together of the East and West.
The Museum is also filled with world-class superstars, perfect for our celebrity-obsessed culture. There are paintings by Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez. As if that isn’t enough, there are concerts and gallery talks, all of which are free. Vámanos!