The Duke of Alba and Dr. Turner

MADRID CALLING: Nobles were on the walls and in the halls last week at the Meadows Museum in Dallas. Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Martinez de Irujo, the 19th Duke of Alba, personally received the 375 guests at a black-tie dinner celebrating the debut of “Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting.” Marking the first time these masterworks have been shown outside Spain, the exhibit is a coup for the Meadows Museum and is the cornerstone of its 50th anniversary festivities.

The show features ancestral portraits by the likes of Goya and Ingres, the first New World map penned by Christopher Columbus and other important pieces. “This is a project that I’m especially interested in, one that allows visitors to see a collection that represents art of the history of Spain,” the duke said. Both the museum and the Meadows Foundation, which largely funded the show, were founded by the late oilman Algur H. Meadows. Located at Southern Methodist University, the so-called “Prado on the Prairie” houses one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside Spain.

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