Madrid, Spain Next: New York, United States

In 1958, the State Department purchased two wall panels depicting the Spanish towns of Toledo and Salamanca by José María Sert. The panels hang in the U.S. Embassy in Madrid.

Turn-of-the-century Spanish artist José María Sert ranks among his country’s most revered muralists. Two Sert wall panels depicting the Spanish towns of Toledo and Salamanca were painted in 1920 for the Marquis of Salamanca. They are now owned by the State Department and run the length of the lobby of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Measuring approximately 10 x 13 feet each, the works are typical of Sert’s later period, and are part of a series of paintings of Spanish towns that he produced.

Various factors had caused the murals to deteriorate. Scratches had appeared, holes drilled in the process of attaching the murals had destroyed portions of the paintings, and preservation efforts over the years had left surfaces darker in some sections than others.

FAPE funded the restoration of these two murals in 1994. Conservator Santiago Ferrete Ponce was hired to restore the work. FAPE also enabled the restoration of two Spanish carpets in the Embassy Residence.

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