The Auckland Project’s masterpieces exhibited in New York as they continue their journey across the USA.

Paintings from The Auckland Project, Bishop Auckland, including works from Auckland Castle and the forthcoming Spanish Gallery nearby, have been displayed in two separate exhibitions in New York City whilst Auckland Castle is closed for conservation works.

Zurbarán's Jacob and His Twelve Sons Paintings from Auckland Castle on display at the famous Frick Collection, New York.

Francisco de Zurbarán’s Jacob and His Twelve Sons, a series of paintings that has hung in Auckland Castle for more than 250 years, is being exhibited at the renowned Frick Collection in New York until 22 April 2018.

The paintings will return to Auckland Castle later this year, ahead of the Castle’s grand reopening on Saturday, 1 December 2018.

As part of their tour of the USA, the paintings spent several months at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, where they were studied in-depth by a team of experts who made a number of discoveries about Zurbarán’s artistic technique.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, Sotheby's recently hosted a joint curated exhibition of outstanding Spainish Old Master paintings acquired as part of The Auckland Project's permanent collection through the international auction house.

The Auckland Project at Sotheby's, New York courtesy of The Auckland Project

Timed to coincide with Sotheby’s Masters Week, one of their busiest weeks of the year, the exhibition featured Spanish Old Master paintings and was the first presentation of works that will soon be displayed in the Spanish Gallery, due to open in Bishop Auckland in 2019.

James Macdonald, Senior Director at Sotheby’s, said: “It is a great privilege for Sotheby’s to play a small part in this inspirational project. Through the brief preview that this exhibition offers, we hope our viewers will be inspired to learn more about Spanish art and visit The Auckland Project in a beautiful part of North East England.”

The paintings in the exhibition are a small but significant part of the new Spanish Gallery, which will open in 2019 in Bishop Auckland Market Place, forming the UK’s largest collection of Spanish art outside London.

The idea for the gallery was inspired by the collection of paintings Jacob and His Twelve Sons by Francisco de Zurbarán, which have been at Auckland Castle since 1756. The Spanish Gallery will showcase a range of exciting works of Spanish and Latin American art, providing context to Zurbarán’s paintings.

Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, Durham

Auckland Castle and the Spanish Gallery form part of The Auckland Project’s plans for a world-class visitor destination in Bishop Auckland, including a Faith Museum, Walled Garden and Auckland Tower visitor centre. The first of these new attractions, the Mining Art Gallery, opened in October 2017, with the rest following in stages over the next two years.

The presentation of Jacob and His Twelve Sons to American audiences was made possible, in part, by the multi-million-pound conservation programme currently underway at Auckland Castle, the historic home of the Prince Bishops of Durham.




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