Fondation Pilar & Joan Miro // Majorque
The Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Mallorca was established on March 7th, 1981, when Joan Miró and his wife Pilar Juncosa donated the artist’s studios, together with all the art works, objects, and documents they contained, to the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Mallorca. Earlier on, in 1979 and 1980, the Palma City Council had approved the statutes for this foundation, one of whose goals was to “foster and promote artistic knowledge, aiding the creative task of future artists, in a close, ongoing collaboration with all sectors of society, venturing beyond traditional museum structures towards an essential, dynamic reality that provides an experiential explanation of the aesthetics of contemporary art.” The idea behind the Fundació stemmed from Miró’s urge to foster and promote artistic production, as well as from his concern about preserving the studio spaces that had constituted his creative environment from 1956 up to the end of his life in 1983.
For years, Miró had dreamt of having a studio of his own, a dream that his friend the Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert finally realized in Son Abrines, in Palma, in 1956, when Miró settled in Mallorca permanently. Three years later, Miró purchased the estate known as Son Boter, with an 18th-century house that he used as a studio and whose walls he drew on with charcoal graffiti. These studios were then and are still the most faithful and eloquent evidence of Miró’s creative environment and habits during his mature years.
Miró was concerned about the chaotic urban development that was emerging in the area surrounding Son Abrines and Son Boter; he worried about the fate of his studios, the spaces that documented his creative process and environment. “We ought to find a way to keep these studios just as they are when I’m no longer here, when I’m gone.” In order to do so, Miró created a public and municipal foundation to be enjoyed by all citizens, to which he donated his studios along with the collection of works, objects, and documents they contained.
The lack of an appropriate space for exhibiting this collection made it necessary to erect a new building to house Miró’s artistic legacy. His widow Pilar Juncosa donated a plot of land and several of her late husband’s works—39 gouaches and 3 oils—to be auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1986, so that the proceeds would go to the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró. The funds collected at the auction made it possible to construct a new building. In 1987, Rafael Moneo, then Chairman of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, was commissioned to design the main building for the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró on a plot adjacent to Miró’s studios. On December 19th, 1992, the new Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró building designed by Moneo opened its doors to the public.
Promoting the knowledge of art and the process of artistic production has been the guiding force behind the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró from the beginning, fulfilling the goal of its founders. The Fundació is a museum that enables us to discover the environment in which Miró worked, to examine his creative process, and to explore his historical, artistic, and cultural context. It is a center for creating contemporary art as well as for its analysis, research, interpretation, exhibition, and promotion. It is a meeting point where ideas are exchanged and where projects are designed and developed, for artists, writers, and musicians, and for all of those interested in art and culture. The Fundació has established close bonds with the community where it is based, while its activities have projected it into the domestic and international art worlds.