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22 September 2022 - 23 September 2022

9:00AM - 6:00PM

Day 1: Spanish Gallery Bishop Auckland, Day 2: Ushaw College Durham

  • FREE

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Juan de Borgoña, Saint Jerome and Saint Ambrose, c. 1510, The Bowes Museum

Hispanic Art in British Regional Collections: History, Display, Research

British regional galleries are extraordinarily rich in holdings of Hispanic art. County Durham alone has one of the largest concentrations of Spanish artworks anywhere in the world outside Spain. In addition to Francisco de Zurbarán’s cycle of Jacob and his Twelve Sons at Auckland Castle, significant holdings can be found at The Bowes Museum, Ushaw College, Durham Cathedral, Durham University, Raby Castle, and the recently established Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland. Further afield, Hispanic artworks can be found throughout the country in galleries, museums, and country houses.

Yet, the majority of these works are largely unknown outside academia and have been comparatively under-researched. This two-day conference seeks to raise them to greater public prominence by shifting attention away from the British collections in the well-established national institutions in London and Edinburgh.

The conference aims to explore the history and politics of collecting and displaying Hispanic art. It asks how collectors, patrons, and curators have, both historically and in recent years, shaped narratives of Hispanic art. How do we account for the motivations and strategies that underpin the display of Hispanic art? What has been the impact of these collections on the regional, national, and international contexts?

The speakers will also examine individual artworks, evaluating their significance and trajectory from the original context of artistic production up to their relevance for audiences today. How might the study of less explored artists and iconographies advance a more complex understanding of artistic production and cultures of display? How might we work collectively to develop and share knowledge of Hispanic art?

With the first day held in the Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland, and the second, at Ushaw College, Durham, the event will offer delegates a unique insight into two of County Durham’s most important collections.

Opening Lecture: David Hopkins (Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Glasgow), Dalí’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross  

Keynote Lecture: Carmen Fracchia (Professor of Hispanic Art History, Birkbeck, University of London), The Afro-Hispanic Presence in Britain's Regional Collections.

The conference is organised by Professor Andy Beresford and Professor Claudia Hopkins (Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University).

It is generously supported by the Embassy of Spain and Durham University.

The event is free. Booking before 12 September is essential.



 Day 1: 22 September 2022

 Venue: The Spanish Gallery


Transfer by bus from Durham to Bishop Auckland

The Spanish Gallery


Welcome by Jonathan Ruffer and free visit to the collection of The Spanish Gallery.

Lecture Room (first floor)


Coffee Break


Introduction to the Conference

Andy Beresford (Professor in Hispanic Studies, Durham University) and Claudia Hopkins (Professor and Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art).


Opening Lecture  

David Hopkins (Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Glasgow), Dalí’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross   


Forging Identities


Xanthe Brooke (Research Fellow, Zurbarán Centre / Curator Emeritus of Continental European Art, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool),

The Spanish Gallery's 'True Portrait' of St, Ferdinand by Murillo


Richard Jacques (PhD Candidate, Zurbarán Centre, Durham University),

The Anatomy of a Crisis - Juan Bautista Maíno’s Copatronazgo and the Struggle for Spanish Identity.


Lunch Break and Visit to Auckland Castle




Irini Picolou (PhD Candidate, Zurbarán Centre, Durham University),

Negotiating Difference. The Virgin of Montserrat with a Donor by Juan Rizi.


Morlin Ellis (The Spanish Gallery),

The Auckland Corpus Christi: Sources and Influences.


Coffee Break


Collecting and Display


Piers Baker-Bates (Research Fellow, Zurbarán Centre / The Open University),

Hiding in Plain Sight: Maíno, Orrente, and Tristán in British Regional Collections.


Alejandro del Pozo Maté (Researcher, Universidad Complutense de Madrid),

Pedro Orrente in British Collections. The Critical Fortune of a Painter ‘not so Spanish’.


Film screening

The Making of the Spanish Gallery (dir. Alan Fentiman)


Departure to Durham


23 September 2022

Venue: Ushaw College


Departure from Durham (Premier Inn) to Ushaw College


Keynote Lecture by Carmen Fracchia 

(Professor of Hispanic Art History, Birkbeck, University of London), The Afro-Hispanic Presence in Britain's Regional Collections.


Coffee Break


Positioning Sixteenth-Century Spanish Artists  


Hilary Macartney (Director of the Stirling-Maxwell Project, University of Glasgow), 

Beyond the Lady in a Fur Wrap: Sixteenth-Century Spanish Portraits in the Stirling Maxwell Collection, Glasgow.


Jean Andrews (Associate Professor in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Nottingham),

Making Friends with Morales. 


Lunch Break


Interpretation and Display


Jesús Porres Benavides (Profesor de Historia de Arte, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos), Devotional Paintings after the Council of Trent in Scottish Collections.


Paula Fayos-Perez (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Université de Strasbourg / Universidad Complutense de Madrid),

Two Landscapes from the Buen Retiro Palace at the Wellington Collection: New Attributions to Francisco Collantes and the Unknown Acevedo.


Coffee Break


Material Culture


Marta Cacho Casal (Research Fellow, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge), Casting the Alhambra Palace in Victorian Britain: Sir Grenville Temple and the Fitzwilliam.


Catherine Julia Hirst (Research Student, Sussex University), Art, Antiquities, or ‘Curiosities’? Defining Pre-Columbian Ceramics in UK Museums. 


Claire Marsland (Curator, Ushaw College),

Ushaw College Collections of Hispanic Art.


Concluding remarks