Legacy: Spain and the United States in the Age of Independence, 1763-1848
The Fundación’s first large exhibition project
This exhibition showed, for the first time, the crucial role played by Spain in the War of Independence. Curated by Carolyn Carr and Mercedes Águeda, the exhibition Legacy: Spain and the United States in the Age of Independence, 1763-1848 illustrates the social, cultural, and political influence of Hispanic culture in the United States from the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763 to the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 that ended the war between Mexico and the United States, through portraits and original documents exploring the role of Spain in the American Revolution. The exhibition shows a total of 75 items, including paintings, historical maps of Louisiana and Florida, and original documents, such as the handwritten copy of the Treaty of San Lorenzo signed by Manuel Godoy and George Washington, among others.
The exhibit also evidences the connections between some of the most well-known people in American history, such as George Washington, Benjamín Franklin and Davy Crockett, with portraits by artists Charles Willson Peale, Joseph Siffred Duplessis and Chester Harding, respectively, and key individuals in Spanish foreign policy during the American Revolution, such as King Charles III, portrayed by court painter Antón Rafael Mengs; José Moñino, the Count of Floridablanca, portrayed by Folch de Cardona; and Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count of Aranda, portrayed by Ramón Bayeu. The exhibition also includes five Goya portraits: the Count of Cabarrús, King Charles IV of Spain, Félix Colón de Larreátegui, King Ferdinand VII of Spain and General Don José de Urrutia.
The exhibition opened on September 26, 2007 and was chaired by H. R. H. Infanta Doña Elena. The opening was attended by the President of the Fundación Consejo España – EE.UU., José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, Marc Pachter, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Patricia O’Leary, Director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Spanish Ambassador to the United States, Carlos Westendorp, and Juan Romero de Terreros, Ambassador of Spain to the Organization of American States.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Fundación hosted the symposium “The Spanish Contribution to the Independence of the United States: Between Reform and Revolution, 1763-1848,” on September 27 – 29, 2007, at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
This project was co-organized with the National Portrait Gallery, the institution where the exhibition was being held, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Fundación Consejo España – EE.UU. and the National Society of Spain for Cultural Action Abroad (Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior – SEACEX), along with sponsorship from The Walt Disney Company, BBVA, the Barceló Group, Iberdrola, Iberia, and the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Cooperation of Spain and the Embassy of Spain to the United States. Overall coordination of the project in Spain was handled by Ambassador Eduardo Garrigues, Member of the Fundación’s Board of Trustees.