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The Museo del Prado is co-publishing the series “Art and Gender in the Museum. The Prado Collection” with Amsterdam University Press

Detail The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia. Pedro Pablo Rubens (1577–1640) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625). Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado
Detail The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia. Pedro Pablo Rubens (1577–1640) and Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568–1625). Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

With this pioneering initiative, for the first time a museum is devoting a series of studies to examining the formation and evolution of its collections from a gender perspective, analysing how these dynamics have influenced the creation, representation and reception of its collections.

This new and ambitious series arises from the Prado’s firm commitment to making the role of women in the world of art visible, whether as an artist, patron and collector or as a subject of the male gaze, while also allowing for a consideration of the construction of gender and its reflection in the Museum’s collections.

Edited by Noelia García Pérez, director of “The Female Perspective” project, the series presents new research aimed at bringing readers and visitors closer to the Prado’s collections in all their scope, from the standpoint of gender studies and with a particular emphasis on women.

The series includes new studies focused on the output of women artists and their presence or absence in the galleries and also examines the link between the formation of the Prado’s collections and women artistic promoters as well as the role of women in inspiring some of the masterpieces in the collection.

The editorial committee includes importantes International and national researchers, such as, Estrella de Diego (Universidad Complutense de Madrid),  Sheila Ffolliott (George Mason University), M. José Rodríguez Salgado (The London School of Economics and Political Sience-Oxford University), Alejandro Vergara (Museo del Prado), Carmen Gaitán (CSIC) or the director of the prestigious Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists (Medici Archive Project), Sheila Barker.

Women patrons and artists have motivated a significant number of publications in recent decades but this is the first series to address the study of the creation of one of the largest art collections in the world, now housed in the Museo del Prado, through a gender perspective and focusing on the women who promoted, inspired, created, donated and conserved many of the works preserved and displayed in this institution in order to demonstrate the crucial role that they played in the production, promotion, dissemination and conservation of art.

With a broad chronology that corresponds to the Museum’s collections, this series will allow for an examination of the role of women and their relationship with the arts, as well as the evolution of this important institution and its connection with them.

One of the principal objectives of this unique series is that of understanding the complex and multifaceted interaction between women, gender theory and the evolution of the Museo Nacional del Prado. Contemplating the possibility of other art histories from a critical perspective allows us to understand that this is a living field, in permanent transformation and in dialogue with contemporary changes in thought.

This innovative approach makes it possible to deepen and broaden the scope of current studies, exploring new areas of research including aspects such as who these women were and what they created or collected, contributing new information on the construction of female networks and the exchange and promotion of art and artists, together with a contemporary reflection on gender in the present-day collections and exhibitions.

The series, edited by Noelia García Pérez, director of “The Female Perspective” project, contributes to charting and making visible new paths for a knowledge of the Prado’s collections and research into them through the women artists who are part of these collections; the decisive role that women played in the configuration of the Museum, whether as collectors and promoters or by their decisive contribution to its foundation and preservation; and their role as a subject of the male gaze, and the gender conditioners that affected the creation and presentation of the museum’s collections in the past and present.

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