Museum of Lazaro Galdiano



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Museum of Lazaro Galdiano
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Calle de Serrano, 122

cschuster's picture

Sr. Contributor

The Museum of Lazaro Galdiano is the best little museum you probably haven't heard of.

This museum is the culmination of the life's work of its namesake, Jose Lazaro Galdiano. The museum houses his collection (paintings, jewelry, curios and all) donated to the city of Madrid on his death in 1947 and displayed in his former home ever since. The whole place is described as the Spanish-version Frick Museum which, for sure, is quite the compliment.

Galdiano started out studying to be a lawyer, but made a quick switch to publishing. His collector's itch began with books. The products of his bibliophilic endeavors can be viewed by appointment at the museum in his former library. But Jose quickly moved on to big league art collecting after he married an Argentinian woman he met in Rome named Paula Florido y Toledo. Throughout their marriage, Paula cultivated his interest in art and acted as an advisor on which paintings he should scoop up. Jose and Paula had a Hallmark relationship, punctuated when he named their Madrid estate in her honor: Parque Florido -- the same estate where the art collection she inspired now rests. *Cue sappy music*.

Life wasn't always wine and roses for Galdiano. Paula died in 1931 and it wasn't long after that the widower went to Paris in self-imposed exile during the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Galdiano occupied his time during exile by expanding his collection, and moved to New York at the outset of World War II because Europe was getting dicey. Galdiano schmoozed and networked around Manhattan until he was flush with old masters by the time it was safe to return to Madrid after the war. Interpersonal skills, and a penchant to purchase any work that a collector might take out of Spain, ensured his future museum would inherit one of the best collections of old masters and Spanish greatest hits in the land of tempranillo and tapas. Although, full disclosure, there might be a few "misattributed" paintings in the LG's room dedicated to Goya. Jury's out on that one...but don't say we didn't warn you.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Lázaro Galdiano Museum

The Lázaro Galdiano Museum (Spanish: Museo Lázaro Galdiano) is a museum located in Madrid, Spain. It houses the art collection of José Lázaro Galdiano.

The palatial building was constructed in 1903 as the residence of Lázaro Galdiano and his wife and is set within grounds that also hold the library containing Galdiano's important collection of incunabula and manuscripts. The conversion to a museum has respected the original interiors, which feature elaborate baroque painted ceilings commissioned by Galdiano, and the building was declared Bien de Interés Cultural in 1962.

The museum contains important collections of valuable works from the prehistoric period to the nineteenth century, with a focus on Iberian work. Major categories include jewellery, small bronzes, both ecclesiastical and domestic silver, ceramics, carved ivory, and numismatics. Objects come not only from Iberia but also from major centers of medieval artistry, including Limoges and Egypt. While the Renaissance is especially well represented, the collection features important early medieval objects, including Visigothic work, and works crafted by Iberia's ancient Celtic culture.

The painting collection includes work by:

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Lázaro Galdiano Museum.