Empordà Museum. Figueres
The creation of the Empordà Museum has been associated with Figueres Town Council since it was set up in 1946. However, the history of its collections goes back to the end of the 19th century, when the Ramon Muntaner Institute in Figueres received pieces on deposit from the Prado Museum. This deposit was expanded in 1887 and 1947. The Museum was established on the first floor of the Institute. As soon as it was set up, it began receiving important donations and deposits.
The current building was opened on 30 April 1971 due to the growth of the Museum’s collections and the offer of an important donation from the sculptor and collector Frederic Marès. This consisted of various archaeological collections and medieval objects (including capitals from Sant Pere de Roda), Gothic and Renaissance carvings, and historical documents, particularly some referring to the inventor of the submarine, Narcís Monturiol.
From its beginnings, the Museum’s priority aim has been to enrich this permanent collection of works of art, and it has achieved this above all through donations, but also with deposits, loans, gifts, acquisitions and grants for production. The Empordà Museum’s collection, which is varied and includes particularly important pieces from the Catalan artistic scene, includes archaeology, medieval art and modern and contemporary painting. The collections of Empordà art (Blanquet, Dalí, Reig, Massanet, Vallès, etc.) and Catalan art (Sorolla, Casas, Mir, Nonell, Gargallo, Tàpies, Cuixart, etc.) are particularly outstanding.
In the last few years, corresponding to the desire to strengthen and complete the collections of Empordà historical art brought together in the museum, new works have been incorporated, making it possible to develop a broad view of modern contemporary art, including artists from Figueres, Empordà and the national and international scene, all of them with fully established careers. These works particularly include some by well-known artists such as Leonard Beard, Yamandú Canosa, Narcís Costa, Patricia Dauder, Gabriel, Dora García, Albert Gusi, Antoni Miralda, Anna Marín, Mireya Masó, Josep Ministral, Jordi Mitjà, Mabel Palacín Carlos Pazos, Carme Sanglas, Manuel Saiz, Gino Rubert, Torres Monsó and Zush.
Considering the plural nature of the museum, the annual programme of temporary exhibitions alternates research on local historical and heritage themes with the recovery of artists and other figures important for the city and the county. Exhibitions of contemporary art have an outstanding place in the museum’s programme.