Monday, December 1, 2014

Comparative Analysis


Museums and historic sites compare internationally in how they function. The history of museums and historic sites can be examined to illustrate how these differences developed. From the history, different comparisons and contrasts can be made. The museums and historic sites of the United States have several similarities and differences than those of Spain.

The word museum derives from the word muse, which means to “cogitate, mediate, dream, ponder, contemplate, and deliberate[1].” Muse comes from the mythological Greek muses, the nine daughters of Zeus who “presided over arts and learning, including history, epic and lyric poetry, music, tragedy, dance, comedy, astronomy, and religious music,” and is the basis for the Greek word mouseion, or “place of the Muses[2].” Dating back to ancient Rome and Alexandria, Egypt, works of art and historical objects have been preserved, which can be argued were the first museums. The word museum itself was not used to describe a collection until the Renaissance, however, in fifteenth century Florence[3].

From these developments, the first museums became established throughout Europe, including Spain. The International Council of Museums, or ICOM, defines a museum as “a non-profit making, permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, and open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits for the purposes of study, education and enjoyment, material evidence of people and their environment[4].” Museums began internationally in the fifteenth century as collections of art and objects held by the church or wealthy families in Europe[5]. These early types of collections became known as “cabinets of curiosity” or “cabinets of the world,” without a set structure or organization and were mainly signifying the importance of the owner[6]. This changed in the sixteenth century with gallerie or galleries of pictures and sculptures and gabinetti or cabinets of natural history collections in Italy[7]. In 1671 the first university museum was established in Basel, Switzerland[8]. Museums in a much larger, organized scale began around the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Europe. While mostly private collections for the noble and social elite, the first public museum in England, Ashmolean, opened in 1683 at Oxford University and was followed by the opening of the British Museum in 1759 in London[9]. Even though these were considered to be public museums, they had limited accessibility and amount of visitors per day. The British Museum did not become open to the public on a daily basis until 1879[10]. The nineteenth century began an increase in accessibility. The Louvre in Paris established in 1793, the Prado in Madrid established in 1819, and the National Museum for Greek Antiquities in Aegina established in 1829, were some of the first museums to be open to the public in the nineteenth century[11]. Historic sites and preservation began to emerge as well.

Contrastingly, museum beginnings in the United States differed from that of Europe. The American Alliance of Museums, or the AAM, defines a museum as an “organized and permanent non-profit institution, essentially educational or aesthetic in purpose, with professional staff, which owns and utilizes tangible objects, cares for them, and exhibits them to the public on some regular schedule[12].” The first museums began more as public museums proceeded by private museums. In the late eighteenth century, the first museums that were developing were “collections of miscellaneous materials displayed largely for society’s elite,” where in 1773 the first museum open to the public was established in Charleston South Carolina[13]. In 1841, P.T. Barnum opened the traveling American Museum in New York in 1841, which developed into the Barnum and Bailey Circus, still in existence today[14]. The main goal was to “display natural curiosities” as “scholarly exhibitions” and it became known as one of the first museums in the United States[15]. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries emphasized public and educational collections as the primary goal of museums and historic sites[16]. This stressed the need for scholarly research and education in universities, academies, and societies. In the second half of the twentieth century to the present, the emphasis has slightly shifted to “attract visitors, popularize their programs, and provide services for the disadvantaged and for special audiences[17].”   

Comparatively, the United States and Spain have similar structures of how museums and historic sites function. Each museum and historic site has a mission statement, which tells the mission of the place. Typically, on staff there is a director of the museum or historic site, and a combination of an associate director, archivist, collections manager, curator, conservator, exhibit designer, education coordinator, and volunteer coordinator to name a few, depending on the size and needs of the museum or site. This holds true for both the United States and Spain. For instance, the Acueducto de Segovia, Catedral de Segovia, Museo de Segovia, Alcázar de Segovia, and Iglesia de Vera Cruz are all overseen by the Office of Tourism in Segovia. Similarly, the Prado and the Reina Sofia museums are located under the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

      Differing from this, the United States and Spain have different approaches to how their museums and historic sites are presented. As noted before, the United States has an educational-based approach background that is translated into many historic sites and museums. This is reflected by exhibits and informative histories of what is viewed. In Spain, there is more of a hands-off approach to displaying historic sites and museums. Common to Spanish historical sites and museums, the Escorial Monastery, the Valley of the Fallen Monument, and the Granja de San Ildefonso all display little information within the sites, but information can be found in the brochures. The same can be said for both Tenerife Island and the city of Toledo. Both the island and the city are historical sites that can be viewed with minimal display.

Overall, there are similarities and differences between the management of museums and historic sites in Spain and the United States. Going back to the founding of these in both countries illustrates the developmental differences between the two. While the United States has a more educational based system, Spain as a whole has a more informative viewing approach. The two share several similarities and differences.


Works Cited
Alexander, Edward P., Mary Alexander. Museums in Motion. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2008.
Glaser, Jane R. Museums: A Place to Work. New York: Routledge, 1996.



[1] Jane R. Glaser, Museums: A Place to Work (New York: Routledge, 1996) 10.
[2] Ibid. p. 10
[3] Ibid. p. 11
[4]  Edward P. Alexander, Mary Alexander, Museums in Motion (Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2008) 2.
[5] Glaser, Museums: A Place to Work, 11.
[6] Ibid. p. 11
[7] Ibid. p. 11
[8] Ibid. p. 11
[9] Ibid. p. 11
[10] Ibid. p. 11
[11] Ibid. p. 12
[12] Glaser, Museums: A Place to Work, 2.
[13] Alexander, Museums in Motion, 12.
[14] Ibid. p. 14
[15] Ibid. p. 13
[16] Ibid. p. 14
[17] Ibid. p. 21

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Reflection

There were several things that can be reflected upon by this project. From the proposal to the blog, there were many things that went as planned, but other points that changed. In all, the study was successful overall.

The goal of the spring 2014 semester was to gather data while in Spain and use the information collected for a photo documentary blog. Each location selected was to have its own post within the blog with its location, cost, transportation, transportation cost from Segovia, Spain, accessibility of the location, the history of the location, and its cultural significance to Spain with a minimum of five hundred words per post and three photos with captions per location. The locations selected at the time of the proposal were the Acueducto de Segovia, Catedral de Segovia, Belchite, the Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen Monument, the Museo de Segovia, the Alcázar de Segovia, the Iglesia de Vera Cruz, Tenerife Island, the Granja de San Ildefonso, the Museo Arqueológico Nacional, the Museo Nacional del Prado, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. This will be followed by a comparative analysis and conclusion to be completed in the fall 2014 semester as a final post, addressing how historic sites and museums are presented in Spain and how they are similar and differ from those in the United States.

In reality, the blog locations changed slightly from the original proposal. The locations of the Acueducto de Segovia, the Catedral de Segovia, the Escorial Monastery and the Valley of the Fallen Monument, the Museo de Segovia, the Alcázar de Segovia, the Iglesia de Vera Cruz, Tenerife Island, the Granja de San Ildefonso, the Museo Nacional del Prado, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía were completed. However, being somewhat restricted by financial causes and public transportation made some of the locations difficult to plan. The city of Toledo was substituted in for Belchite due to transportation issues. The Museo Arqueológico Nacional was additionally not completed, as a result of the museum being closed to reconstruction.

Apart from the changes in locations, the blog overall went well. Each location was visited within its timeframe, followed by the blog post and corresponding photos. Each post met the criteria from the blog, which made the blog successful in meeting its requirements. With this, the analysis for the fall semester will be completed.


As a whole, the project was successful in its completion. Not everything went according to the proposal, but was completed to a full extent. Even with a few changes to the proposal locations, the general idea of the blog’s posts as how historic sites and museums are presented in Spain was accomplished. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Entrance

Method of Transportation: Bus to and from Segovia and Madrid, Metro to and from
                                          Príncipe Pío and Atocha Stations
Transportation Time: Approximately 2 hours (One Way)
Hours:
     Monday, Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
     Sunday 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Cost:
     Bus to and from Segovia and Madrid: $22.21/€16.10
     Metro to and from Príncipe Pío and Atocha Stations: $4.14/€3.00
     Entrance Fee: $10.96/€8.00
     Total Cost: $37.31/€27.10

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, or the Reina Sofía Center of Art National Museum, is a modern art museum located in Madrid. Within walking distance of the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Reina Sofía first opened in 1990 although the building has been standing since the sixteenth century[1]. King Felipe II founded the San Carlos Hospital, the current museum headquarters, and King Carlos III in the eighteenth century decided to found another hospital and expand the area[2]. Construction halted after his death in 1788, but several modifications and additions were made while the hospital was in use up until its closing in 1965[3]. In 1977 the building was declared a national monument for its historic and artistic value and restoration began in 1980, later followed by its opening as the Reina Sofía Art Center in 1986[4].

Artwork in the Entrance

Under the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Reina Sofía is home to its collections, temporary exhibits, audio visual activities, and educational programs. Officially created by Royal Decree 535/88 in 1988, the original collections were made up of works from the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art and held only temporary exhibitions[5]. Since its opening, the museum has increased by about 60% of its surface area, now at 84,048 square meters, and has had its permanent collection since 1992 with close to 20,000 artworks throughout the museum[6]. It boasts works from Picasso, Dali, and many other contemporary artists from the twentieth century and beyond. Similar to the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Reina Sofía has many interactive online resources. In both Spanish and English, the visitor can map out their visit beforehand and view the collections by room at http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/collection.

The Collections

Unique to the Reina Sofía, one of its most important and well-protected works is the Guernica by Pablo Picasso. Painted in 1937 for the World’s Fair in Paris, the Guernica is symbolic of the suffering during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930’s[7]. A very controversial anti-fascist piece, Picasso himself said that when the Guernica was finished “it goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it[8].” Although intended for the Spanish people, Picasso required that the painting be housed outside of Spain until Spain became democratic and had public liberties; it was housed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York until 1981, the centenary of Picasso’s birth[9]. Now located in the Reina Sofía, the Guernica is one of the most protected pieces of art in the museum. It has a separate exhibition hall with two guards, video surveillance, and motion detectors. Additionally, the Guernica has undergone computer-guided robot image and data collection to assess the materials and techniques Picasso used to create the Guernica[10]. Known as a masterpiece of the twentieth century, the Guernica is just one illustration of the many artworks of the Reina Sofía.

The Guernica

The Reina Sofía is important to preserving the cultural history of Spanish modern art. The building itself is important to the history of the area, along with its artworks. The Guernica is just one example of the museum’s importance. The Reina Sofía protects and maintains this history for its visitors and future generations.



Works Cited
  “History.” museoreinasofia.es. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2013. http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/museum/history. (accessed 6 April 2014).
“Guernica: Testimony of War.” pbs.org. PBS, 2014. http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/a_nav/guernica_nav/main_guerfrm.html (accessed 7 April 2014).
“Journey to the inside of Guernica.” museoreinasofia.es. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2013. http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/collection/restoration/projects-investigation-development/jorney-inside-guernica (accessed 7 April 2014).




[1] “History,” museoreinasofia.es. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2013, http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/museum/history (accessed 6 April 2014).
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] “Guernica: Testimony of War,” pbs.org. PBS, 2014, http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/a_nav/guernica_nav/main_guerfrm.html (accessed 7 April 2014).
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] “Journey to the inside of Guernica,” museoreinasofia.es. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2013, http://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/collection/restoration/projects-investigation-development/jorney-inside-guernica (accessed 7 April 2014). 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Prado National Museum

Velázquez Entrance to the Prado

Method of Transportation: Bus to and from Segovia and Madrid, Metro to and from
                                          Príncipe Pío and Atocha Stations
Transportation Time: Approximately 2 hours (One Way)
Hours:
     Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
     Sundays and Festivals 10 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
     January 6, December 24 and 31 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Cost:
     Bus to and from Segovia and Madrid: $22.21/€16.10
     Metro to and from Príncipe Pío and Atocha Stations: $4.14/€3.00
     Entrance Fee:
          General $19.33/€14.00
          General with Guidebook $31.75/€23.00
          Reduced: $9.66/€7.00
          Student: Free with ID
     Total Cost:
           General: $45.68/€33.10
           General with Guidebook: $58.10/€42.10
           Reduced: $36.01/€26.10
           Student: $26.35/€19.10

The Museo Nacional del Prado, or the Prado National Museum, is one of the best known art museums. It contains over 8,000 artworks and is home to the most comprehensive collection of Spanish art in the world[1]. The building was first designed in 1785 by architect Juan de Villanueva as a National History Cabinet by order of King Charles III, but transitioned to the royal museum under his grandson King Ferdinand VII with influence of his wife Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza[2]. The museum was first named the National Museum of Paintings and Sculptures before being named the Prado National Museum and first opened to the public in November of 1819[3]. At the time of its opening, only three hundred and eleven paintings were on display with a collection of only 1,510 paintings from the royal residences[4].

Ticket Purchase

Since then, the Prado’s collections have significantly expanded. Not only does the Prado contain paintings, but it includes sculpture, drawings, engravings, coins and metals, clothing, and decorative art throughout the museum from the eleventh through nineteenth centuries[5]. With Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, English, and French artworks, the Prado is comprised of many different schools of art as well[6]. Some of the most notable artists include Spanish artists Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco, Raphael, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Der Weyden, and many others. In 2007, the museum’s exhibition area was expanded by more than 50% to include an entrance hall, four rooms of temporary exhibits, an auditorium, the restored cloister of the church of Los Jerónimos, and storage and restoration space[7].

Prado Events

Even though the Prado is a large museum, the Prado website has many interactive sites to help visitors plan their visits and manage their time there. Both in Spanish and English, the same as the museum itself, the website has a collections plan and guides of what to see within a given amount of time. The collections plan is similar to the free map at the museum and can be located at https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/plan-de-colecciones-2009-2012/. It tells the overall layout after collection changes were made in 2012 and allows the viewer to see the different floors of the museum. It conveys the location of different types of artwork and artists, with specific paintings highlighted. The guide of what to see can be found at https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/what-to-see/ and outlines what it recommends to see within one, two, and three hour visits.

Main Entrance

Protecting and displaying artwork for future generations, the Prado is one of the most famous landmarks in Madrid and Spain. It has changed over the centuries to encompass many different types of art and has expanded in recent years. With over 8,000 pieces of art, the Prado is extremely important to the cultural and artistic history of Spain.



Works Cited
  “Historia del Museo.” museodelprado.es. Museo Nacional del Prado, 2014. https://www.museodelprado.es/la-institucion/historia-del-museo/. (accessed 6 April 2014).
“Museums and Art Centres.” esmadrid.com. MADRID DESTINO CULTURA TURISMO Y NEGOCIO, 2014. http://www.esmadrid.com/en/prado-museum. (accessed 6 April 2014).
“Prado Museum.” spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014. http://www.spain.info/en_US/que-quieres/arte/museos/madrid/museo_nacional_del_prado.html. (accessed 6 April 2014).




[1] “Museums and Art Centres,” esmadrid.com. MADRID DESTINO CULTURA TURISMO Y NEGOCIO, 2014, http://www.esmadrid.com/en/prado-museum (accessed 6 April 2014).
[2] “Historia del Museo,” museodelprado.es. Museo Nacional del Prado, 2014, https://www.museodelprado.es/la-institucion/historia-del-museo/ (accessed 6 April 2014).
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “Museums and Art Centres,” esmadrid.com. MADRID DESTINO CULTURA TURISMO Y NEGOCIO, 2014.
[6] “Prado Museum,” spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en_US/que-quieres/arte/museos/madrid/museo_nacional_del_prado.html (accessed 6 April 2014).
[7] Ibid.

Friday, March 28, 2014

La Granja de San Ildefonso

Map of the Granja

Method of Transportation: Inter-Segovia Bus
Transportation Time: Approximately 20 Minutes
Hours:
    Palace:
          April - September Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
          October - March Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
     Gardens:
          November - February Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
          March Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
          April Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
          May - June 15 Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
          June 16 - August Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
          September Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
          October Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Cost:
     Transportation: $6.30/€4.58
     Entrance Fee:
          Palace:
             General: $12.38/€9.00
             Reduced: $5.50/€4.00
          Gardens:
             General: $6.19/€4.50
             Reduced: $3.44/€2.50
     Total Cost:
          General: $24.87/€18.08
          Reduced: $15.24/€11.08



A former royal residence, the Granja de San Ildefonso is one of the many significant landmarks Spain. It is located in the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains in the providence of Segovia[1]. Before becoming the Granja de San Ildefonso, the area was first used by King Henry IV in the 15th century[2]. It was later given to the Hieronymite monks of El Parral by Queen Isabella I where it was used as a “granja” or farm[3]. Modeled after the court of Versailles by King Philip V, the Granja de San Ildefonso, or simply the Granja, is a unique and impressive complex[4].

Royal Palace

One of the most notable buildings in the Granja is the royal palace. It was built by King Philip V in the 18th century, who was the first Bourbon monarch of Spain and from France[5]. The palace was used as a summer residence up until the rein of Alfonso XIII and combines French and Spanish baroque style architecture[6]. Due to a fire, the first rooms that were destroyed beyond repair were converted into a tapestry museum; since the Granja was used as a summer palace, the tapestries are not original to the Granja as tapestries were meant to keep in warmth[7]. Spain has one of the oldest and largest tapestry collections in Europe, some dating back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and the tapestry museum is home to many of these unique tapestries. The palace additionally contains 18th century paintings and the remains of Philip V and his second wife in the adjoining church[8].

View from the Gardens

Apart from the royal palace, the Granja has many other places to visit. One of these places is the gardens. The gardens surround the royal palace and were created by Philip V in the French style of Versailles, containing twenty-six fountains[9]. The Granja, in addition, contains the Granja Royal Glass Factory. Created in the 18th century, it now contains exhibitions over the art of glass-making[10].

One of Twenty-Six Fountains

The Granja de San Ildefonso is one of the unique complexes to visit in the Segovia providence. From the palace to the gardens to the glass factory, the Granja has a wide variety of things to see. Helping to preserve its history, the Granja is an important part of the area.



Works Cited
“GARDENS AT LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/jardines-historicos/segovia/la_granja_de_san_ildefonso.html (accessed 27 March 2014).
“LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO ROYAL PALACE,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/monumentos/segovia/palacio_real_de_la_granja_de_san_ildefonso.html (accessed 27 March 2014).
“SAN ILDEFONSO AND LA GRANJA,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/ciudades-pueblos/otros-destinos/san_ildefonso_o_la_granja.html (accessed 27 March 2014).





[1] “SAN ILDEFONSO AND LA GRANJA,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/ciudades-pueblos/otros-destinos/san_ildefonso_o_la_granja.html (accessed 27 March 2014).
[2] “LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO ROYAL PALACE,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/monumentos/segovia/palacio_real_de_la_granja_de_san_ildefonso.html (accessed 27 March 2014).
[3] Ibid.
[4] “SAN ILDEFONSO AND LA GRANJA,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014.
[5] “LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO ROYAL PALACE,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014.
[6] “SAN ILDEFONSO AND LA GRANJA,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] “GARDENS AT LA GRANJA DE SAN ILDEFONSO,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014, http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/arte/jardines-historicos/segovia/la_granja_de_san_ildefonso.html (accessed 27 March 2014).
[10] “SAN ILDEFONSO AND LA GRANJA,” Spain.info. Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2014.