Barcelona's fourth deputy mayor and president of the Institute for Urban Landscape and Quality of Life (IMPUiQV), Ramon García-Bragado, today signed the agreement under which the Museum of Catalan Modernisme (MMCAT) has joined the Art Nouveau European Route. The museum, which is in a centrally located Modernista building (1902-1904) at Carrer Balmes 48, designed by Enric Sagnier, houses the private collection built up by Fernando Pinós and Maria Guirao over forty years in the art business devoted exclusively to Catalan Modernisme.
With the inclusion of the MMCAT, the Route now has a membership of 57 institutions and 67 municipalities, all with the common aim of preserving Europe's Art Nouveau heritage, finding ways of making it self-sustainable, encouraging tourist visits and making the public aware of its cultural importance.
The MMCAT's collection of 350 works by 42 of the leading exponents of Modernisme encompasses painting, sculpture, furniture and the decorative arts. The pieces are exhibited in an area of 1,000 m2 that was originally the distribution warehouse of the Fabra i Coats textile firm. The building's Catalan vaults and the original flooring in the basement have been recovered and restored.
During the official signing ceremony, Fernando Pinós and Maria Guirao, joint presidents of the MMCAT, unveiled the bust of Enric Sagnier donated by Antonio Sagnier, grandson of the distinguished architect. The piece was executed by sculptor Eusebi Arnau, who worked with Enric Sagnier on a large number of buildings in Barcelona. This gift reinforces the links between the two men, since it was Sagnier who designed the Casa Garriga i Nogués and the Casa Bertrand (home of the MMCAT) and Arnau who produced the decorative cup that stood in the entrance hall of the Casa Garriga i Nogués as well as the Sagnier bust, two items that now form part of the MMCAT's collection.
The museum's guide was also launched in Catalan, Spanish and English, and will provide visitors with biographical and historical details, technical descriptions and anecdotes relating to more than a hundred works from its collection.