That those early visitors left their mark becomes apparent when you stroll through the island's capital, Palma. The first time I did, a good 30 years ago, I was so taken by what I saw, I promised myself I'd come back often. Which I did. But now it's been too long, and there are plenty of reasons to plan another trip to Mallorca.
Throughout the ages artists have landed on this large isle, which is only a boat ride (and these days a short flight) from Barcelona. Frederic Chopin and George Sand stayed one winter at the Carthusian monastery of Valldimossa. And in the last century locals saw creatives such as Robert Graves, Joan Miró and Mati Klarwein arrive to make their home in the hills, mountains and valleys of the largest isle of the Baleares archipelago.
An added attraction is the possibility to visit the Cultural Centre in Palma, created around the studios of the admired Catalan sculptor, painter, print-maker, and more, in other words the most versatile Joan Miró.
Two years before his death, Miró (1893-1983) bequeathed his four studios among which Son Boter and the surrounding garden near Palma de Mallorca as well as his work to Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca with the intention to protect his property from the destructive force of project developers.
In 1958 Miró won the International Guggenheim Award, which allowed him to buy Son Boter a 17th-Century country house near Palma opposite the house he and his wife Pilar already occupied. Initially his intend was to use Son Boter as a sculpture studio, but eventually this space became the place where he worked on large size paintings. His charcoal sketches can still be seen on the interior walls. Other buildings on the lot contained the lithograph and etching print-shops.
Five years after the Fundació was started and three years after Miró's death, his widow Pilar Juncosa, realizing that the organization needed more space, announced that the grounds of Son Boter, the other studios and the surrounding garden were the perfect place. She gifted the Fundació with 39 gouaches and three oil paintings by Miró to be auctioned by Sotheby. The money from the auction would be used to create a new space and run the organization. Architect Rafael Moneo (who would go on to win the 1996 Pritzker Prize) was hired to design the building that would hold the headquarters of the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca.
The complex exists of the original studios of Miró among which the painting studio designed by Joseph Louis Sert, workshop, and exhibition spaces, a library , a gift shop, an auditorium and an (avant-garde) art-installation space. The Cultural Centre is a place for artists to create, meet and exchange ideas, as well as a residency for writers, visual and performing artists. A place where Mirós philosophy on the arts is carried out. Since the opening in 1992 the grounds and buildings are open to the public to visit or take courses.
De museum collection of the Fundación exists of work by Joan Miró.
Since 2007 the Fundació invites artists to enter yearly and bi-yearly contests.
The work of the prize winners becomes property of the Fundació and will be exhibited at the Cultural Centre in Palma.
Artists who see fit to come up with a proposal for an on-location garden project before August 31st are invited to enter the Pilar Juncosa & Sotheby Award contest.
In 2007 Susan Philipsz from Glasgow became the very first winner of this Award with her sound installation: "More Than This".
The First (and only) Prize amounts to €30,000 of which 10 thousand is meant as honorarium, the remaining 20 thou for execution and other expences.
For more information see pages 24 - 34 of the pdf on the Website
(click on 2/06/2009).
For more information on Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca see the comprehensive Website.
As for IRL visits, keep in mind that the lines may be long, so plan to be there early!
The above is a slightly different version of the original Dutch text published one day ago at Cultureel Persbureau