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American Art from the Thyssen Collection

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Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum / Madrid / Art

Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921–2002) was born 100 years ago. By the 1990s, he’d amassed an art collection so large that Prince Charles, the Getty Foundation, and President Mitterand were fighting over its contents. All was settled when Thyssen-Bornemisza sold 525 paintings to Spain, under the orders of his wife. The collection was housed near the Prado, in Villa Hermosa—today’s Thyssen museum. What is less known is that Thyssen had an affinity for American art, which he began avidly collecting in the 1970s. Many of his purchases were 19th-century landscapes, their pictorial style quite different from their European counterparts. In four themed sections, this exhibition presents American art from the Baron’s collection. The lineup of artists includes Charles Willson Peale, Frederic Edwin Church, George Catlin, Ben Shahn, Romare Bearden, and Mark Rothko. —E.C.

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Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum Paseo del Prado, 8, 28014 Madrid, Spain
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