New Project - The Auckland Project Spanish Gallery
The Spanish Gallery, part of The Auckland Project (Bishop Auckland, County Durham), is one of our latest projects currently in development. The Gallery is internationally significant, and will house the UK’s largest collection of Spanish art outside London, and is the first museum in the UK dedicated to the genre.
With a particular emphasis on the Spanish Golden Age of the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Gallery provides context for Francisco de Zurbarán’s series of masterpieces, Jacob and his Twelve Sons, that have been exhibited at Auckland Castle for over 250 years. Items that form part of the Gallery display will include paintings and sculptures from the medieval period onwards, including works by leading artists such as Diego Velázquez (1599 – 1660), Juan Bautista Maíno (1581 – 1649) and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682). Among other prestigious paintings to feature will be El Greco’s remarkable Christ on the Cross (1608–10), which was purchased with a generous grant from the Art Fund.
Housed within a 19th century former bank and an adjacent school building in Bishop Auckland’s Market Place, the Spanish Gallery comprises of exhibition areas spreading over four floors, along with a Spanish reading room, conference suite and gift shop.
Our team’s approach to the design of the Spanish Gallery, was driven by the challenge set by The Auckland Project team from the outset, which asked for designs that were creative, theatrical, and dynamic, stating that ‘this is an opportunity for flair!’. The spaces have then been crafted with the use of colour, light, pattern, sound and texture to embody that theme, and enhance the links between the artworks on display. Common to all of the galleries is the overarching theme of Transience – nothing lasts forever – which occupies each space in the museum, as it preoccupied the minds of the artists and patrons in the Golden Age of Spanish Art.
The Spanish Gallery is due to open in Summer 2021. Check our social media channels for updates. You can read more about The Auckland Project on their website.