June 14th, 2024 | 6:24

Leisure & Culture

The important donation of Roberto Sáenz de Gorbea to the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao

Mairenis Gomez

May 13, 2024 | 9:03 p.m.

The collector and gallery owner Roberto Sáenz de Gorbea has made a significant donation to the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao, consisting of more than 200 works of art that were collected by the historic Windsor Gallery. This gallery, a fundamental pillar of Bilbao's artistic life for more than 45 years, closed its doors in 2017, but his legacy will continue to enrich the cultural landscape thanks to this generous contribution.

History and legacy of the Windsor Gallery

Founded in 1971, the Windsor Gallery played a crucial role in promoting contemporary art in Euskadi, especially during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1981, Roberto Sáenz de Gorbea took over the direction of the gallery, reorienting its focus towards contemporary art and supporting emerging artists from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Bilbao. Under his leadership, the gallery was also renovated and renamed Windsor Kulturgintza.

The Donation: An artistic treasure

The donation to the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao includes works by more than one hundred and fifty artists, including prominent figures such as Ramón Carrera, Pedro Manterola, Iñaki de la Fuente, José Ramón Sáinz Morquillas, Txomin Badiola, Pello Irazu, Ricardo Catania, Xabier Elorriaga , Juan Luis Goenaga, Alfonso Gortázar, Daniel Tamayo, Darío Urzay and Alberto Rementería. This collection not only reflects the professional career of the Windsor Gallery, but also offers a representative panorama of Basque art produced during the 1980s and 1990s.

Reactions and future exhibitions

In the presentation of the donation, the mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, highlighted the importance of this collection as a faithful representation of the professional career of the Windsor Gallery. Along with him were the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Miguel Zugaza, the conservator Miriam Alzuri and Roberto Sáenz de Gorbea himself.

Zugaza, when speaking about the donation, pointed out that there is still no set date to exhibit the works to the public, but he announced that several exhibitions will be organized once the museum expansion work is completed. He highlighted that without the contribution of the Windsor Gallery, Basque art of the 1980s and 1990s could not be fully understood.

More donations on the horizon

Roberto Sáenz de Gorbea announced that this will not be his only contribution and that he intends to make more donations in the future, whenever the museum deems it appropriate. In addition to the works of art, the donation includes a valuable documentary collection accumulated by the gallery both in its first stage, managed by Miguel Sáenz, Roberto's father, and since 1981 under Roberto's direction.

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