Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Art Donation Enhances Denver Art Museum’s World-Class Spanish Colonial Collection

Selection of 25 paintings, sculptures and decorative arts add depth to the museum’s renowned collection

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) is pleased to announce a significant gift of colonial art from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC). The 25 objects— mainly from Venezuela and the Caribbean—will expand the depth of the museum’s Spanish Colonial art collection. Notable for its cultural and temporal range and artistic quality, the DAM’s Spanish Colonial art collection is the most comprehensive such collection in the United States and one of the best in the world. Spanning three and a half centuries (c. 1492–1850), the collection of over 3,000 objects represents the diverse cultures and geographic areas of Latin America, including Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Chile and the southwestern United States.

Antonio José Landaeta (active 1748–1799), Venezuela, Immaculate Conception, c. 1795. Oil on canvas; 29-3/4 x 18-3/4 in. Denver Art Museum. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Frederick and Jan Mayer.

“My husband Gustavo and I are delighted that colonial works from Latin America held by the CPPC will be joining the Denver Art Museum’s heralded collection of colonial art, the largest and most extensive such collection in the United States,” said Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. “As with the other four institutions that are receiving colonial works from the CPPC, the works being donated to the Denver Art Museum were carefully chosen to complement its exemplary holdings.”

The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros gift to the DAM is part of larger-scale donation of 119 pieces that the collection is gifting to five institutions, including the Blanton Museum at the University of Texas at Austin; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museo de Arte de Lima [MALI] and the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, NY, as well as DAM.

“The Denver Art Museum is honored to receive this incredible art donation from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros,” said Christoph Heinrich, the Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “This generous gift aligns with our strategic approach to enhancing the breadth and depth of our collections. The ongoing refinement and expansion of the museum’s collection exemplifies the museum’s enduring commitment to maintain a diverse collection that reflects our community and provides invaluable ways for audiences to learn about cultures from around the world.”

Specifically, the gift comprises six paintings, including the notable Immaculada Concepción, painted circa 1795 by renowned Venezuelan artist Antonio José Landaeta. Significant pieces of decorative art such as exquisite examples of 18th century Venezuelan furniture and silver objects are included in the generous gift.

“These are artworks that really deepen and strengthen the Spanish colonial collection in significant ways,” said Jorge Rivas Pérez, the DAM’s Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Spanish Colonial Art. “The opportunity to build a representative collection of colonial art from Venezuela and the Caribbean in a museum today is quite rare. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has made that possible for Denver.”

For further information or to request images, please contact a member of the DAM’s Communications team.

About the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

Founded in the 1970s by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Gustavo A. Cisneros, the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) is one of the core cultural and educational initiatives of the Fundación Cisneros. Based in New York City and Caracas, Venezuela, the CPPC’s mission is to enhance appreciation of the diversity, sophistication, and range of art from Latin America; advance scholarship of Latin American art; and promote excellence in visual-arts education. The CPPC achieves these goals through the preservation, presentation, and study of the material culture of the Ibero-American world—ranging from the ethnographic to the contemporary. The CPPC´s activities include exhibitions, public programs, publications, grants for scholarly research and artistic production, and a website that was created to offer a platform for debate concerning the immense contributions of Latin America to the world of art and culture.

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Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.

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