Photo: Hispanic Society Museum NYC
When it first opened in the early 1900s, the Hispanic Society Museum & Library hosted a show of paintings by Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla. The exhibit was so popular, it drew 168,000 visitors over a four-week span, requiring the museum to stay open until 11pm to accommodate the crowds.
Now more than a century later, as the museum’s main building reopens following a six-year, $10 million renovation, it’s only fitting that it’s launching with a show on Sorolla, in addition to several other exhibits.
The museum, located in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, is now open Thursday-Sunday—and it’s completely free to visit. Here’s what to expect at the renovated building and what’s coming next.
The building may not look vastly different, but it’s changed for the better with updated lighting, air-conditioning, accessibility features, roofing, facade work, a gift shop and a new paint hue to complement the architecture.
With 750,000 objects, the society houses the most extensive collection of Hispanic art and literature outside of Spain and Latin America. The museum was founded in 1904 by Archer Huntington, the son of an American railroad magnate, who was fascinated with museums and Hispanic cultures.
As for renovations, the work completed is the first phase of a multi-year plan, which will now focus on the museum’s East Building. The East Building will eventually serve as the museum’s main entrance and will house special exhibition galleries, a community center and a state-of-the-art conservation studio.
The Hispanic Society Museum has long been a hidden gem, and now museum officials want to make it more visible.
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