The Museum of Modern Art (Catalan: Museu d’Art Modern de Tarragona) was founded by the Provincial Council of Tarragona in 1976 to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art and, likewise, to preserve, display and share its artistic heritage. To this end, a museum was set up in the old quarter of Tarragona with a library, a documentation centre and a photographic archive. The building that houses the museum is the result of joining three 18th-century houses. It was renovated by the architect Jaume Mutlló and the building as we know it today, fully equipped and restored, was opened to the public in 1991.
In 2008 the Museum of Modern Art presented the renovation of its permanent exhibition with a new museum project that contributes an important didactic character to the presentation of the collections.
In order to facilitate the rapprochement of art in a wide range of children’s and young people’s audiences, the Museum of Modern Art offers schools, through the Pedagogical MAMT, the possibility of guided tours for school groups, from the age of three, with prior appointment. The Pedagogic Service annually extends its pedagogical offer in order to involve the teaching community in the learning of knowledge of modern and contemporary art.
In 1976 the Tarragona Provincial Council created the Museum of Modern Art with the intention of preserving and displaying the artistic heritage of this Institution. The collections of the Diputació, in their own right, had begun in the early sixties, when the sculptor Julio Antonio’s sisters were acquainted with the works they kept from the artist. As of this date, and with the advice of the director of the School of Art of Tarragona, Lluís M. Saumells, the works collections of the sculptors Santiago Costa and Vaqué and Salvador Martorell i Ollé , and the paintings by Josep Sancho i Piqué.
Also since 1943, for a period of time every year and after every two years, the Provincial Council convened the Julio Antonio and Josep Tapiró sculpture prizes, and reserved the property of the winning works.
The fact is that the Diputació de Tarragona retained an important artistic heritage that was not within the reach of citizens.
In 1976, following the transfer of the Art Workshop School of the former headquarters of the Santa Anna Street to the new offices of Sant Pere Sescelades, a part of the Casa Martí was acquired that had until then received the the aforementioned School, where, as of that moment, the Museum of Modern Art of the Diputació of Tarragona was located.
Due to lack of space, the area dedicated to the permanent exhibition was small; However, a whole series of temporary exhibitions were held, which also helped to bring people closer to the Museum.
In 1983, the Provincial Council acquired the building of the Santa Anna street, and two years later the architect Jaume Mutlló and Pàmies ordered the adaptation of the building and in 1991 it reopened its doors .
In 2008 the Museum of Modern Art renewed the exhibition of the permanent collection and gave an important didactic character to its presentation.
To facilitate the bringing art to a wide sector of children and young people, the Museum of Modern Art offers to schools by the Educational MAMT the possibility of guided tours for school groups, from the three-year agreement with previous appointment. The educational services annually expands its educational offer in order to involve the community in the educational learning of knowledge of modern and contemporary art.
Casa Martí (or Casa Martí Franquès) is an 18th century manor house protected as a cultural asset of local interest. During the 19th century, it was the ancestral home of the noble family Martí d’Ardenyà.
Building with a height floor, ground floor and attic. On the main façade there are three levels of openings of a different nature: on the first floor there is the access door with a lowered arch door; In the second, balconies with iron bars; to the third windows in row and very close together, in a semicircular arch that ventilates the attic and a folding beam ends the building. It has a neogothic oratory style and dome in the main hall.
This building, in its current state, is the result of the union of three old houses in the upper part of the city. The first had been owned by the Jesuit School of the Holy Kings, of Tarragona. Confiscated by the Crown to the Company after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, it was bought by Antoni Martí i Gatell, in 1772, at the Municipal Board in charge of selling the goods of the mentioned monks in Tarragona. The new owner, after having improved it, established his residence in 1781. The house was also inhabited by the illustrious high-tech scientist Antoni Martí i Franquès, the son of Martí i Gatell, who lived in our city From the year 1798 until his death, which occurred in 1832. In the nineteenth century, the grandson of Martí i Gatell, Gaietà Martí i Veciana, bought two neighboring houses, in the years 1838 and 1857, and proceeded immediately to the The extension and restoration of the primitive house. The works were completed in the early sixties of the last century.
History of a Tapestry
On September 27, 1968, Joan Miró signed a drawing, a first draft that indicated the different parts that constituted the Tapís de Tarragona, for its execution by Josep Royo.
This drawing was one of the gestures that showed the gratefulness of the teacher, before the attacks that life brings, towards a young doctor, Dr. Rafel Orozco. This doctor took Maria Dolors Miró, the only daughter of the artist, on New Year’s Eve in 1966, when she was hit by the train crossing the level at Mont-roig del Camp.
This fateful event, and the generosity of Dr. Orozco, caused that the payment of the professional medical fees were not of monetary character, but this asked for a painting to the painter for the new health center that he would be director, today disappeared Hospital of the Red Cross of Tarragona.
The answer, after a few months, was a painting as an outpost of a more ambitious project that would set a new perspective on the path of Joan Miró: the realization of a large carpet.
Joan Miró baptized the work as Tapís de Tarragona, and charged the young artist Josep Royo, who had contributed to the renovation of the Aymat Tapestry Factory in Sant Cugat del Vallès, which later would be known as the Catalan School of Upholstery
This project was the beginning of a path shared between Joan Miró and Josep Royo, which leads them to find new spaces for the realization of their joint projects, such as the emblematic Farinera de Tarragona, which will be released Among its walls, works of great importance for many creators.
The Red Cross retains ownership of the Tapís de Tarragona and has been transferred by deposit to the Diputació de Tarragona to be exhibited at this Museum of Modern Art.
Naked bronze Julio Antonio: A sculptor’s life
The Museum of Modern Art of Tarragona received the legacy of a large part of the work of the sculptor Julio Antonio (Móra d’Ebre, 1889 – Madrid, 1919).
Although the exhibition can be seen in various aspects of the work of Julio Antonio, which is worth mentioning his work in the renovation of sculpture in Spain and its link to the literary movement of the Generation of 98, The main objective of the exhibition is to bring to the citizens of our counties and visitors in general the Monument to the Heroes of 1811, and to value the existing relationship between art and the society in which it coexists.
We must also say that the location of the monument -Rambla Nova, on the intersection of the streets of Yxart and Cañellas- has made it an icon of the city, but, nevertheless, many of those who have built this space would hardly tell us four data on the monument. Transition The passage of the s. Nineteenth to s. XX
In addition to Julio Antonio, other artists lived from nineteenth to twentieth century in the Tarragona region. While in paint creators such as Josep Tapiró, Josep Sancho Piqué, José Nogué Massó and Antoni Torres Fuster they followed academic guidelines, in sculpture Santiago Costa, Josep Cañas and Josep Pujol Montané opened up to new trends and crossed borders.
The Workshop and the School. From the Republic to Democracy
The Workshop – School of Painting and Sculpture of the Generalitat de Catalunya in Tarragona Proclaimed the Second Republic, in 1931, the Generalitat provided an important project in the area of the country’s culture. The creation of the Workshop – School of Painting and Sculpture in Tarragona, supposes the existence in Tarragona of a center leader in the formation of plastic arts.
The proposal led by Ignasi Mallol and Joan Rebull, along with professors Salvador Martorell, Enric Cristòfol Ricart, Josep Maria Capdevila and Rafael Benet, contributed to the formation of a large number of students, some of whom, such as Josep Busquets i Ódena, Sadurní Garcianguera, M. Teresa Ripoll, Antonio Gonzalo Lindín or Enric Pinet, became renowned artists.
The school was destroyed due to the bombardments suffered by the city of Tarragona during the civil war.
The democratization of the political system that facilitated internal artistic development and international relations, as well as the intense commercialization of the artistic phenomenon, led to the development of the plastic arts in the eighties. However, in the last decade of the century the enthusiasm decayed, but not so the work and the quality of the artists.
With the Julio Antonio Medal of sculpture and the Painting Tapiró Medal, the Tarragona Provincial Council established, in 1944, prizes for the promotion of artistic creation.
This award had, in its beginnings, an annual character, but with the passing of time it has become the Art Biennale as is now known. The 2012 edition was won by Àngel Pomerol.
La Capilla – Tom Carr
Aqua et tempus, the installation that we can see in La Capella is the result of the exhibition of the same name that the artist performed in this museum in 1997. The show had an antithesis, Ignis et tempus, which appeared parallel • Already at the Graz Museum. Order and geometry are constant elements in their sculptural production; Shapes like the square, the triangle and the circle are presented in very varied, more or less fragile typologies, playing with the voids, the air and the light that penetrate and surround them.