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The Catalan Museum of Art Nouveau, a jewel to discover

Catalan Modernism (Art Nouveau) is famous for its architecture, with Antoni Gaudí?s work as its main exponent. However, other expressions of art should be recognised. The recently opened museum in Barcelona shows furniture, painting and sculpture.

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16 July 2010 12:38 AM

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ACN
Barcelona (CNA).- The Pinós family has been collecting Catalan Art Nouveau pieces for 40 years and they decided to show their vast collection through this museum. The Catalan Museum of Art Nouveau has just passed its first 100 days of being open. The owners judge the initial reception as positive, but they would like to see more public coming from abroad.
Coming from the antiques industry, the couple formed by Fernando Pinós and Maria Guirao started collecting Catalan Art Nouveau pieces of art 40 years ago. They have furniture, painting, sculpture and decorative objects that did not have a great value at the time they were acquired, but nowadays they have a great artistic value. The son of this couple, Fernando Pinós, is now the President of the Museum of Catalan Art Nouveau (Catalan Modernism) in Barcelona. This museum is a private initiative to show the public this collection as well as make people better understand this artistic movement from early 20th century.
 
Antoni Gaudí’s work is also present in the museum. He did not only design great buildings in Barcelona, he also designed amazing pieces of furniture and other decorative objects such as hangers, wooden chairs and banks. The new museum has a room dedicated to his creations.
 
The Art Nouveau furniture collection has, however, other important names such as Joan Busquets, one of the most recognised carpenters of the time. Works from Busquets include dining room furniture, especially desks, that have all the details of the Art Nouveau style in a surprisingly well-preserved wood.
 
The museum also shows sculptures, especially from Josep Llimona, as well as important ceramics from Lambert Escaler. The collection also has paintings from the greatest Catalan painters of the period: Ramon Casas, Santiago Rusiñol and Joaquim Mir.
 
The museum itself is located in an Art Nouveau building from 1904, which has been renovated. The columns and the elevator have been reworked, following the designs of the time. The ceiling of the first floor is particularly impressive because of its Catalan-style arches.
 
The entire collection has more than 350 pieces, although for space limitations it only exhibits about 200. One of the museum’s masterpieces is a large marble cup made by Eusebi Arnau. This piece has never been up for sale and has a great value for the Pinós family.
 
The first 100 days of the museum have been a success according to its director. However, they now want to increase the number of foreign visitors. The Barcelona City Hall supports this initiative and has included the museum inside the Catalan Modernism route within the city.

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  • A piece of the Museum of Catalan Art Nouveau's collection

  • A piece of the Museum of Catalan Art Nouveau's collection