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02|07|20 Latest Donations 2020

The Board of Trustees of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is celebrating the incorporation into its collection of a large group of works of art that have been donated this year over recent months. This latest donation ratifies one of the museum's past and present distinguishing features, which consists of the commitment of numerous collectors who, throughout its history, have contributed to enriching its collection: men and women who have played a pivotal role in creating and developing the museum, regarded as a heritage and cultural asset that is essential for citizens and a sign of common progress. We must not forget that over the past two decades, since the constitution of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum Foundation in 2001, the number of works that have joined the collection via donations is higher than the quantity incorporated through purchases, figures that are higher not only with respect to the amount of pieces, but also in terms of their asset value.

This fact has been especially important in recent years, which have seen the incorporation of pieces as significant as Luis Paret's painting Triumph of Love over War (1784)—donated by Alicia Koplowitz in 2018—, the steel sculpture Bilbao (1983) by Richard Serra—donated in 2018 in memory of Martín García-Urtiaga and Mercedes Torrontegui by their grandchildren—and the installation Hanging Figures (1997)by Juan Muñoz—donated in 2019 by the Vizcaína Aguirre Foundation, a member of the museum's Board of Trustees—. In spite of the current difficult circumstances, the persistent nature of this exemplary patronage enables us to present today a selection of the latest donations received: a work by the German photographer Thomas Struth, a sculpture by Dora Salazar (Alsasua, Navarre, 1963), three etchings by the sculptor Vicente Larrea (Bilbao, 1934), and two important documentary art collections by Juncal Ballestín (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1953–2015) and by Juan Carlos Eguillor (San Sebastian, 1947–Madrid, 2011) respectively, which are shown within the context of ABC. The Alphabet of the Bilbao Museum and of the contemporary art exhibition room [Dora Salazar and Ballestín].

Although it will be announced publicly at a later date, worthy of mention is the donation by a private collector of two remarkable engravings of great interest by Lucas Vorsterman I, as they are closely linked to one of the masterpieces in the collection, Lot and his Daughters, by Orazio Gentileschi. Together with these two extraordinary works on paper, the 1980 collective mural painted by Vicente Ameztoy, José Luis Zumeta and Carlos Zabala in protest against the Lemoiz nuclear power station is also especially significant.