Gaudí arrives at the Design museum in Barcelona
The Museum of Design in Barcelona, which until now had no piece of Gaudí, has just incorporated 36 pieces of the modernist architect thanks to a loan in bailment for 30 years of the Gaudí Chair, of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. These are different objects such as doors, ceramics, railings, flooring and furniture, coming from Gaudí buildings such as the Batlló and Milà houses, the Parc Güell or the cathedral of Palma, which are incorporated into the funds of the Museu del Disseny.
From June 2020 some of these objects will be part of the permanent exhibition in an area that will cover from the beginning of modernism until now.
“It is difficult to imagine the image of Barcelona without Gaudí, but the city so far had his pieces in the open air and not a place where it was explained,” said the deputy mayor of Barcelona, Joan Subirats. It is true that there are some pieces in the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, in the Museum of the Sagrada Família –of liturgical character– and in the Gaudí House Museum, but now they can be contemplated in the context of what can be considered as Origins of design culture. Although apparently it can be thought that these are minor works, including from a hanger of the Calvet house, a tile, a trencadís rosette, a piece of parquet and fragments of stained glass from the cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, the truth is that they are rarely seen pieces. They were exhibited for the first time in La Pedrera, in 2002, in the year Gaudí and few more times. Recently museums such as MoMA or Orsay have bought Gaudí objects to also incorporate them into their collection.
It was Joan Bassegoda Nonell, director of the Gaudí Chair between 1968 and 2000, who got these pieces for the entity, dependent on the School of Architecture, and since then most of these objects were in warehouses or even in a garage due to lack of space . Now it has been Juanjo Lahuerta, director of the chair, who with the approval of the School of Architects and the own rector of the UPC, Francesc Torres, has achieved that agreement.
Pilar Vélez, director of the Museu del Disseny, explained that all the pieces have undergone a “preventive conservation” and are now in the “reserve rooms”, waiting for their final cataloging and the selection that will be made to that the most prominent be incorporated into the permanent. The agreement provides that these objects may be assigned for temporary exhibitions in other museums, as has happened on occasion, provided it is accepted by both parties. “From now on we will be an international reference on Gaudí,” said the director.
Lahuerta explained that Gaudí’s pieces differ from current design objects because they do not respond to an industrial process or in most cases have preparatory drawings. “Gaudí is an architect who essentially does not design but works on the materials and does not depend on previous documents, he always talked about the” worker “and not the office”.