Polk Museum of Art Receives Florida Humanities Council Grant to Support Goya, Picasso & the Heritage of Spain Panel Discussion

The Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is pleased to announce that it has received a Florida Humanities Council Community Project Grant to support a panel discussion entitled Goya, Picasso & the Heritage of Spain: Exploring Spanish Culture in Florida from 1513 to Today. The free-of-charge program will take place at the Museum on Tuesday, April 3, from 6:30-8:30 pm. This project was one of six selected to receive funding out of 19 applicants.

A distinguished panel of presenters from four institutions collaboratively developed the humanities-focused program to coincide with the Museum’s Masters of Spain: Goya & Picasso exhibition on view from March 17-June 17, 2018. Included in this show that will be open for viewing prior to the program are Goya’s iconic Tauromaquia (Bullfighting) series of etchings and Picasso’s ceramic plates, one of which depicts a bullfighting scene, among other works.

Using the exhibition as inspiration for the discussion theme, PMA Curator and FSC Art History Professor Dr. H. Alexander Rich, who will serve as panel moderator, invited University of South Florida Spanish Professor Dr. David Arbesú, FSC Spanish Literature Professor Dr. Melissa Garr, Polk State College Ceramics Professor Andrew Coombs, and Centro Español de Tampa President John A. Rañon to consider the question: If Goya and Picasso identified the bullfight as the most potent symbol of Spanish tradition, what can we identify as essentially Spanish in Florida?

Their collective responses formed the content of this 90-minute program that includes a 30-minute audience Q & A. Dr. Rich will introduce the panel, present the thesis, and set the context for subsequent presentations. Dr. Arbesú will focus on the historical presence of Spain in Florida from Juan Ponce de León’s first expedition in 1513 to Pedro Menéndez de Avilés’ founding of St. Augustine in 1565. Dr. Garr will trace cultural encounters that took place throughout Florida’s history beginning with Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca’s text Shipwrecked in 1528 and ending with Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1940. Professor Coombs will discuss the art of pottery, Picasso’s ceramics, and the recent pottery discovered at Tristan de Luna's 1559 Settlement site in Pensacola. Mr. Rañon will present the history of Spanish immigration to Tampa and the Spanish heritage that is embedded in Tampa today.

To learn more about this PMA public program funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, contact Director of Arts Advancement Suzanne Grossberg at 863-688-7743 x298 or sgrossberg@polkmuseumofart.org