Donations and long term loans at the Museo Reina Sofia

Donations and long term loans

Building the Collection is a major priority for the Museo Reina Sofía, and that is why the generosity of donors and lenders has such an important part to play in its growth. The Collections Departments is closely involved with the heads of cultural institutions, collectors, artists and artists’ families in a constant search for long-term loans and donations of works that will help complete the Museum’s Collection.

Incorporation by donation is defined as the receipt of an object for free, through inter vivos transfer, meaning the willing gift of the object by the owner during his or her lifetime to the institution. Gratuitous loan is another essential method of adding to the Museum Collection, and is defined as a contract by which the lender gives the Museum a cultural asset for the Museum’s free use for a set period of time (normally no less than five years), after which it must be returned.

Donations/Bequests  to the Museo Reina Sofia 2008-2018

The Reina Sofía Museo would like to express its gratitude for its acquisition of major works through donations by collectors, artists, private businesses and institutions. In the past ten years (2008-2018), the Museo Reina Sofia has accepted a total of 1.387 works and a significant quantity of documentation as the result of numerous donations, which illustrates the crucial role that such donations have played in the development and enrichment of the Collection.

Mention must also be made of the contributions made by the artists themselves, who year after year give major works of theirs to the Museo Reina Sofía. We would like, then, to acknowledge José Luis Alexanco, Antoni Mercader, member of the Grup de Treball, Jorge Ribalta and Juan Genovés and many others. Among the overseas artists, we would particularly like to thank  Dias & Riedweg, León Ferrari, Chris Killip, Amos Gitai o Andre Lopez for their contributions. Representation of the most recent period of artistic output has been vastly improved by donations of works by artists including Tracey Rose, Asier Mendizábal and Danh Vō.

We would like to highlight the donation of 483 photographic works by 13 Spanish artists linked to the Afal Group: Joan Colom, Gabriel Cualladó, Gonzalo Juanes, Paco Gómez, Oriol Maspons, Xavier Miserachs, Ramón Masats, Ricard Terré, Leopoldo Pomés, Francisco Ontañón, Carlos Pérez Siquier, Alberto Schommer and Julio Ubiña. This generous donation from the Autric-Tamayo family helps to enhance the Museo Reina Sofía’s standing as a benchmark centre for the study and research of Afal. Donations over the last ten years have also most notably included a hundred Roberto Matta prints, donated by Germana Matta, five Pablo Gargallo sculptures donated in 2017 by the sculptor’s daughter, Pierrette Gargallo-Anguera, and films by Marcel Broodthaers, donated by Maria Gilissen Broodthaers.

As well as donations, we must not forget the incorporation of many outstanding works through bequests in wills. Looking only at the past few years, we could mention the Brassaï photographs and drawings, bequeathed by his widow, and two extraordinary works by American artist Morris Louis, which came to us as a bequest from his widow Marcella Brenner.

The Museo Reina Sofía Collection houses over 6.050 works from donations and bequests, representing more the 26.8 % of the total. The number of donations and bequests is a visible indication of how inestimably important their contribution is to the Museum and the development of its collection.

Offers of donations should be sent to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Santa Isabel, 52, 28012 Madrid, Spain.
Further information: Collections Department, MNCARS (e- mail:

Long Term Loans at the Museo Reina Sofia  (2008-2016)

Along with purchased and donated works, a major part of the Collection’s acquisitions consists of gratuitous long-term loans. In order to improve the representation of certain artists or movements that are unavailable on the open market or difficult for the Museum to acquire, between 2008 and 2018 the Collections Department has built up the temporary deposits of a significant number of works.

Of particular importance among the long-term loans achieved through collaborative agreements are those of the Val del Omar Archive, who loaned the majority of the production and materials used by the artist in his experimentation, that of the Fundación Palazuelo, thay of the Successió Miró and the one from the Easten Foundation, New York, with a selection of early works by Louise Bourgeois. In the last years it was established the loan of 17 exceptional works of the Foundation Gandur pour l'Art, one of the most prestigious international collections of postwar European art, specialized in the period 1945-1962. 2016 also saw the incorporation of an exceptional collection of 32 pictorial works by artists such as Juan Gris, María Blanchard, Jean Metzinger and Albert Gleizes, among others.

The generosity of private collectors can be seen in the ensemble of 32 Latin American artworks from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, or the selection of 16 works from the Onnasch Collection, and we can draw attention to the transfers – with the possibility of a bequest – of a set of 392 works from the Soledad Lorenzo Collection, in addition to a group of Enrique Herreros’ works from the Enrique Herreros Foundation.

Collaboration by artists’ families, the keepers of the artists’ bequests, is considered of paramount importance. Examples are the loan of exceptional groups of works by artists such as Oskar Schlemmer, André Masson, Luis Quintanilla, Ángeles Santos Torroella, Manolo Millares and Leon Golub, among others.

As in previous years, mention must also be made of the bequests made by the Museo Reina Sofía Foundation, which number almost 385 in total, mainly by Latin American artists, for instance Victor Rebuffo, Paolo Gasparini, Felipe Ehrenberg, Eduardo Gil, Marta Minujín, Oscar Massota and Liliana Maresca, among others. Over the past year, the Museo Reina Sofía Foundation has also facilitated the addition of a series of works by artists such as Allan Sekula, Ibon Aranberri and Cristina Iglesias.

We would like to express our gratitude once again to all the lenders for their exceptional and highly valued contribution to the Collection, and by extension to the Museo Reina Sofía itself.