Future Plans 2016-2020

Christ on the Cross, El Greco

Spanish Gallery & Research Centre

County Durham is home to the UK’s largest collection of Spanish Art outside of London and plans are being made to bring this to the fore.

Inspired by Francisco de Zurbarán’s Spanish masterpieces that hang in Auckland Castle’s Long Dining Room, a dedicated Spanish Art Gallery will open in Bishop Auckland Market Place in 2019.

It will explore Spanish art from the medieval period to the present day, focusing particularly on the Golden Age of art in the 17th century.

The gallery will draw on works from The Auckland Project’s extensive collection and develop a series of activities and exhibitions in partnership with institutes and galleries from around the world, including Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid and the Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas.

Among the artwork due to feature in the inaugural exhibition is El Greco’s remarkable depiction of Christ on the Cross, recently purchased with the generous aid of a grant from the Art Fund.

Further details of the full display will be announced closer to the Spanish Gallery’s opening, but pieces by the most significant 17th-century Spanish artists, including Jusepe de Ribera and Francisco de Zurbarán, are already confirmed.

Stirling Prize-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have designed the dramatic new gallery, which will transform two important, but vacant, buildings into a stunning new space.

Created behind the existing facades of a former bank and school, it will provide 10 galleries over three floors, including a dramatic top-lit double-height space, as well as an art history library and café.

The Spanish Gallery will be complemented by a separate research centre in partnership with Durham University, which will link new academic study to the gallery’s exhibition programme.

The Spanish Gallery is supported by the Art Fund/National Gallery/Vivmar Foundation, Banco Santander and The Wolfson Foundation and Backhouse Foundation 

This page will be updated regularly with news, images and films relating to the development.


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