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The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros donates 119 works of colonial art to five museums
Juan Pedro López (1724–1787), Our Lady of Guidance, c. 1762. Oil on wood, 100.3 x 69.2 cm (39 1/2 x 27 1/4 in.). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Jorge Rivas.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros announced the donation of 119 pieces from its collection of colonial art, one of the five collections that comprise the CPPC, to five leading institutions committed to the conservation and study of the legacies of art from the colonial and early republican periods in Latin America: the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Hispanic Society Museum & Library, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; and the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), Peru.

The colonial art collection of the CPPC was formed with the intention to create a broad representation of Venezuelan art from the middle of the seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. This core is complemented by select works from the viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru, as well as pieces from elsewhere in the Spanish Caribbean.

This 119-piece donation from the Coleccio n Patricia Phelps de Cisneros to these five museums will expand their geographic and temporal horizons, with the primary objective of encouraging a broader, more diverse and inclusive view of Latin American artistic production from the 17th to mid-19th centuries.

In choosing these five institutions, the CPPC has carefully considered their individual profile and research focus. For the Blanton Museum of Art of the University of Texas, Austin, the donation will contribute to the founding nucleus of a collection of colonial and republican art, and will be an important complement to the museum’s remarkable and growing collection of modern and contemporary art that has made the Blanton a reference for scholarship in the field.

For the Denver Art Museum, the custodian of the largest and most extensive collection of colonial art in the United States, the donation will add depth to its holdings from Venezuela and the Caribbean, until now among the least represented regions in its collection. This donation also celebrates nearly half a century of the Denver Art Museum's commitment to the study and dissemination of and education about Latin American colonial art.

In the case of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the gift represents the fruitful culmination of an institutional relationship that began in 2010. With this gift, the CPPC will formally transfer to the MFA a group of furniture, silver and paintings that had been on long-term loan and which originally served to complete the museum's colonial art collections on the occasion of the opening of the widely-admired Art of the Americas wing. The gift includes some additional works that enrich the initial group and extol the museum's continued effort and commitment to research and education about Latin American colonial art, and place this production in active dialogue with North American colonial art.

The Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York, one of the institutions to pioneer the collection and study of Latin American colonial art, will receive a very important piece of furniture: the golden armchair for the brotherhood of San Pedro of the Cathedral of Caracas. Made around 1755 by the cabinetmaker Antonio Mateo de los Reyes, this imposing armchair, the first Venezuelan colonial masterpiece to enter this important collection, was used to seat the life-size sculpture of the patron saint of the brotherhood.

A special donation is being made to the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI), a museum considered a model among Latin American cultural institutions. With the donation of an important portrait by the republican painter Jose Gil de Castro, the CPPC wishes not only to add this work to the collection, but to also recognize the pioneering work being carried out by its patrons and staff.

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