El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante (MACA)

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Last Friday our group decided to head over to several of the museums of Alicante, including the one created by the most famous Alicantino artist, Eusebio Sempere, who is world renowned for his work in Kinetic art and with geometry.

We have no pictures from the trip, aside from one outside the building because no photos are allowed inside. However, we have included some photos from the internet to give you all a feel of what you might see inside.

Some Information on the Museum

The Museum was created in 1976 by Eusebio Sempere who donated a large portion of his personal art collection to give the museum its start. The cause was then taken up by the city government who continued building the museums collection and giving funding to the new cultural center within the city.

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Eusebio Sempere

The museum is located in the city’s oldest civil building, Casa de la Asegurada. This is right next to the Santa Maria Basilica we mentioned in our first post. The collection currently houses approximately 800 pieces in its permanent collection, which is divided up into three main sections, the 20th Century, which is located on the first floor, the Juana Frances collection, located on the second floor, and finally the Eusebio Sepere collection, housed on the third floor.

The first floor collection of 20th century art houses works of art from Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and more. The purpose of this floor is to show case the art movement through the 1920s  to the 1980s and includes dada, cubism and surrealism. This collection was a part of Sempere’s personal collection, donated in 1977 to start the museum.

The second floor collection was generously donated by artist Juana Frances upon her death in 1992.The collection is made of 134 works of art that showcase her career spectacularly.

The third floor is the final permanent collection, and houses the works of Eusebio Sempere himself, bequeathed to the museum in 1997 upon his death. This portion of the museum is the largest, with close to 600 pieces of art.

The ground floor of the museum is dedicated to the temporary exhibitions that are brought in through collaborations with other institutions.

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Reviews of the Museum

The museum was completely white and peaceful. The layout was easy to follow and very straight forward, with a natural flow to the exhibits. The rooms all had descriptions of what was happening, both in Spanish in English. Overall the museum was extremely pleasant and peaceful to be in, I personally loved it. I especially enjoyed the personal touches of how the museum was founded- it gave the museum both a worldly and international feel as well as a centered and local one. -Rebecca

I had never visited the museum before this time, in my opinion it is not well and enough promoted, there should be more signs to get there and also more info about it in the tourism office. Once we got there the first thing we did was going to the reception where a man not very friendly told us we couldn’t get in with our volvo ocean race’s books, so he kept our books in there and told us we couldn’t take photos either… Anyway we started our visit to the museum from the higher floor to the 1st one and this man was behind us checking what we did all the time. My impression was that they only trust older people visiting the museum and not much young people. Apart from that all the works of Eusebio sempere were pretty beautiful and interesting, with all the panels of interpretation in English and Spanish which was easier to understand fot foreigners. -Julieta

It was my first time in MACA. It is really a peaceful. According to me the museum is modern. The best thing in this museum was a big board where small kids had written about fear. That thing made me speechless in that museum. The museum was well organised, clean but the staffs were little rude. I didn´t liked the way they told us not to take any pictures inside. Although I was impressed by the art in that museum and it was different from other museums in Alicante. – Ayushma

Analysis

The MACA is another great example of a museum in Alicante doing what a museum should do: educate, communicate, research and collect artifacts. As artifacts are simply anything man made of historical or cultural interest, the paintings created by Eusebio Sempere and others involved in the museum, this surely qualifies. The museum does a lovely job of displaying the art, and particularly in its communication and cooperation with other institutions to exchange art. This exchange allows both institutions to educate and research on an even larger scale than the usual permanent collections.

Though there is little in the way of writing, the writing there is and the way the museum is laid out demonstrates a well thought out interpretation of the art works. A lot of art does not need a lot of explanation, particularly those intended to speak for themselves rather than have a back story, such as those modernist pieces from the twentieth century. With this in mind the museum designers kept the information provided in the exhibits to a minimum, and rather focused on the museum itself.  The information provided gives the visitors just enough to understand, value, care, and enjoy the works or art displayed (in a cycle known as the heritage cycle). The focus on the importance of the museum itself in the writing found on the walls allows the heritage cycle to be applied to the museum itself. Then in the brochures that are presented, the explanation of the artists and their works allows for the cycle to be applied to the works of art themselves, without disturbing the intent for the pieces to speak for themselves as they are viewed.

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