The artist Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, and therefore it stands to reason that he founded a museum in his city. You will mainly find his paintings, sculptures and drawings, but also works by other contemporary artists.
As indicated by its name, the Fundació Miró is dedicated to the artist Joan Miró. The foundation has 217 paintings, 178 sculptures, 9 textile works, 4 ceramic works, and almost the entire graphic artwork made by Miró (around 8,000) available.
Obviously, not everything is on display at once, but it still gives you a chance to get to know the artist Miró on several levels and in thematically composed sections. Photographs of the artist at work or from his private life make the visit a bit less formal and help you get to know him on a more personal level.
The Fundació Miró has most of the artist’s work in one place, as Miró himself donated much of his work to the foundation.
In addition, the foundation also has works by other contemporary artists. In the exhibition rooms, there are regular exhibitions that are going beyond Miró.
Joan Miró i Ferrà was born in 1893 in Barcelona. He was a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and ceramicist. Miró began sketching at a very young age. His father, however, was opposed to the arts, and so Miró began an apprenticeship in business management. At the same time, however, he visited “La Llotja”, the academy of the arts where Picasso’s father had taught and Picasso himself had studied, until 1910.
From 1910 until 1911, Miró worked as an accountant for a drug store. In this year, however, he suffered a nervous breakdown (and fell ill with typhus), causing him to pack up and move to the country, where he ended up pursuing the arts after all.
In the following years, Miró visited several art schools and drawing academies, and he also learned much about the works of French artists as well as those of Gaudí.
In February 1918, Miró’s first solo exhibition started: 60 scenery paintings and still lives were presented.
From 1919 onward, Miró was drawn to Paris, where he met Picasso and Hemingway and joined the surrealists in 1924. He worked with artists such as Max Ernst and René Magritte, got Dalí to join the surrealists, and became friends with Alexander Calder.
In 1956, he moved his permanent residence to Mallorca, where he mainly pursued sculpting.
In 1971, Miró initiated the beginnings of the first foundation in Barcelona, followed by the second in 1981 on Mallorca. He justified the second location and its setup with the following words: “I hope no-one will ever get the idea to build one of those hideous sky scrapers in this place someday, as they already surround me everywhere else…”. It was his response to the booming Mallorca tourism.
Miró died on December 25th, 1983, aged 90 years, on Mallorca.
Miró Museum A bit of History
The Fundació Miró was founded in 1975 as a consequence of the popularity of an exhibition of Miró’s work in the Hospital Santa Creu in 1968. The architecture Josep Lluís Sert designed the building together with Miró.
The artist himself always wanted to show works by some of his contemporaries. As a result, the foundation has more than just Miró’s work on site; you can find other artists in their collection as well, resulting in a more fresh and unusual take.
The foundation is also known as the “Center for the Study of Contemporary Arts” (Centre d’Estudis d’Art Contemporani – the initial letters can be found at the entrance, too).