The Zurbarán Centre is a Durham University research institution that promotes an enhanced understanding of the visual and performing arts through the study of their geographical, historical, and material manifestations in Spain and Latin America.
Our aim is to inspire and generate cutting-edge research into art and visual culture in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America across all periods, from the middle ages to the present day. The Centre is particularly focused on research that is transdisciplinary in nature, transnational in scope, and transcultural in its approach. We collaborate with partners worldwide to spark new discoveries and devise new ways of promoting an enhanced understanding of Iberian and Latin American art through an ambitious programme of residential scholarships, doctoral fellowships, international student exchanges, public lectures, international exhibitions, scholarly publications, social media activities, and digital services.
The Centre's twin focus is on County Durham's remarkable collections in Spanish art dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, on the one hand, and Durham University's exceptional strengths in Spanish and Latin American studies, on the other. The twin catalysts for this initiative are The Auckland Project's major arts and heritage-led regeneration project in Bishop Auckland and Durham University's strategic investment in visual arts and culture, entailing, among others, a collaborative partnership with The Bowes Museum, internationally famous for its Spanish, French and Italian collections.
The Zurbarán Centre operates in a symbiotic relationship with The Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland, and promotes cutting-edge research, including collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, in areas related to the themes and narratives of the Spanish Gallery. While the Spanish Gallery is devoted to the arts from Spain, the remit of the Zurbarán Centre encompasses the visual arts in Latin America.
Durham University's strategic commitment to visual culture was cemented in 2013 by the creation of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC). CVAC coordinates visual culture research across the University's three faculties and is home to a taught MA in Visual Arts and Culture. This commitment is further reinforced by the new BA in Visual Arts and Film.
Durham University has exceptional research strengths in Spanish and Latin American visual arts and cultures. Twenty researchers from a number of different departments, including Anthropology, Geography, History, Modern Languages and Cultures, Music, Theology and Religion, are currently exploring topics from the Middle Ages to modernity and post-modernity, and a range of different visual and performative forms, from the fine arts through to theatre, cinema, music and photography.
Researchers working with the Centre are able to study a unique collection of original works in Bishop Auckland and make use of office space in Roper House, the home of the Zurbarán Centre. They have the unique opportunity of working with curatorial staff on joint research and engagement projects and engaging with Durham University researchers and international partners of excellent standing.
We have exceptional research strengths in Spanish and Latin American visual arts and cultures. Researchers from a number of different departments are currently exploring topics from the Middle Ages to modernity and post-modernity, and from fine arts through to theatre, cinema, music and photography.
Enquiries about the Zurbarán Centre should be sent via the email below.
Faculty of Arts and Humanities,Elvet Riverside,New Elvet,Durham, DH1 3JT.