The "Prado on the Prairie"
The Meadows Museum, nicknamed "Prado on the Prairie", is an art museum located in Dallas, Texas on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU). Operating as a division of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, the museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st centuries.
The museum's primary collection contains works by some of the world's most renowned painters, including El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Murillo, Goya, Miró, Sorolla, and Picasso. Additional highlights include Renaissance-era altarpieces, monumental Baroque canvases, rococo oil sketches, polychrome wood sculptures, Impressionist landscapes, modernist abstractions, a comprehensive collection of the graphic works of Goya, and select sculptures by major twentieth-century masters, including Rodin, Maillol, Giacometti, Moore, Smith, and Oldenburg. In addition to its primary collection, the Meadows Museum administers SMU's University Art Collection, which includes works by leading artists of the North Texas region like Frank Reaugh, Jerry Bywaters, Otis Dozier, Alexandre Hogue, and William Lester.
In 1965, the Meadows Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time. The museum's collection of Spanish art and the galleries for its display were a gift to Southern Methodist University from Algur H. Meadows, a Dallas businessman and founder of the General American Oil Company of Texas. During the 1950s business took Meadows frequently to Madrid, where repeated visits to the Prado Museum inspired what would become a lasting interest in the art of the Spanish Golden Age.
By 1962, Meadows had amassed his own collection of Spanish paintings, which became the foundation of the Museum's collection. After the opening of the museum raised doubts about the quality of some of these works, SMU appointed the museum's first professional director, Dr. William B. Jordan, who served in that capacity from 1967 until 1981. Supported by Meadows until his death in 1978, the museum initiated a vigorous new phase of collecting, during which the core of the present collection was formed.
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