‘This Saint George’s Day, the Amics are giving books as presents at the Museum Library!’

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The Amics del Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Friends of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya) are initiating the campaign Fem Biblioteca, fem Museu (Making a Library, Making a Museum) in order to increase the reading material in the Museu Nacional’s Folch i Torres Library.

This Saint George’s Day we are taking steps to promote the purchasing of new books for the library. In 2015, the Amics raised more than €7,500 in books. This year, we wish to increase this contribution and to continue helping to enrich this bibliographical patrimony, with the collaboration of everyone and the involvement and expertise of the Museum Library’s managers.

Donations can be made to  the Amics webpage, where you will find the list of books to be purchased, and you will have until 30 April to participate. To date we have already been able to purchase more than 30 books, totalling over 1,000 € in value!

All the books given away by the Amics will be identified with a special bookplate on which the donor’s name will appear, if they wish. We will also be organizing a special visit to the Library in June to find out more about the impact of this action and to see the books forming part of the collection.

With initiatives like this, for 25 years the Amics have been joining forces to make the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya a museum of reference. Specifically, this time we want to help to make the library an art study and research centre and to increase its catalogue, which is a collective treasure. Therefore, through this blog, we call upon the Amics of the Museu Nacional and everybody who wishes to celebrate Saint George’s Day with us, to take part in this campaign!

Campaña de micromecenazgo + Amics, + llibres, de 2015 / Campaña de micromecenazgo para la adquisición de Font de Vida, de Aurèlia Muñoz, 2020.

The Joaquim Folch i Torres Library

The Joaquim Folch i Torres Library is a centre of reference in the field of art history, chiefly of Catalan art. Its goal is to facilitate access to its material and to support research – by professionals and also by anyone interested in this field – and to disseminate the research generated at the museum. Together with the Museum Archive and the Publications Service, the Library is part of the Research and Knowledge Centre of the Museu Nacional.

The Museu Nacional’s art Library currently has more than 150,000 volumes, a bibliographical and documentary patrimony that it makes available to all users. This reading material includes art monographs and catalogues, and documents about the history of Catalonia and Spain. It possesses a collection of art and humanities journals with about 4,000 titles, and a section in reserve that includes manuscripts, incunabula, works published before 1850 and bibliophile editions.

During its 140-year history, it has been installed in successive buildings and known by different names. Its origins date back to the period of preparation for the Universal Exhibition of 1888, leading to the creation of the Graphic Library of the Museum of Artistic Reproductions, in Barcelona’s Ciutadella Park in 1891. In 1902, with the Museum Board, it began a period that culminated in 1906-1907, when it was opened to the public in the former Arsenal of the Ciutadella Palace and a Special Library Committee was created.

1928-1931, reading room of the Library in the Governor’s Pavilion, in the Ciutadella. On January 14, the Library and the Drawings and Engravings collections opened to the public / 1936, storage room, in the Casa Solà-Morales in Olot, where the books were deposited during the Civil War period.

1944, the Library in the old Arsenal, headquarters of the Museum of Modern Art, in the Ciutadella / 1974, staff room in the headquarters of the Museum of Modern Art, in the Parque de la Ciutadella.

The architect and politician Josep Puig i Cadafalch played an outstanding part in this, organizing the material and adopting the model of the great contemporary European and American art libraries, a task subsequently continued by Joaquim Folch i Torres, the first director of the Barcelona Art Museums.

Josep Puig i Cadafalch (1907) / Joaquim Folch i Torres (1913).

Since 2013, the 50th anniversary of the death of Joaquim Folch i Torres, the Library has borne his name.

Balma Badal
Amics del Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

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