You are here:
  1. Visit
  2. The museum
  3. History

Inauguración del Museo

1925. Testament of Clotilde García del Castillo

In her will of 1925, Clotilde García del Castillo bequeathed the house and the collections that belonged to her to the SpanishState for the creation of a museum in memory of her husband. The donation was accepted in 1931 through a Royal Order, which defined the institution that was to be created as a Philanthropic-educational Foundation of a special nature.

The Foundation is recorded in the Register of Cultural Foundations of the Ministry of Culture as number 5, dated 28/3/1931, and its purpose is defined as:

"The conservation and public exhibition of the original works of Mr Joaquín Sorolla, as well asall the pictures, objects d'art, furniture, etc., in the house situated at 37 Paseo del General Martinez Campos, and any other works that may be acquired in the future for museum".

1932. The opening of the Museum

That same year, in 1931, the Board of Trustees was set up, with the members being the artist’s three children, representatives of the main Spanish institutions devoted to the fine arts and the chairman of the Hispanic Society of America. The chairman of the Board was the Head of State and the Vice-president the Minister of Public Education and Fine Arts. The Board drew up the Museum’s first Regulation, which was published by Decree on the 24 March 1932. The museum was inaugurated in 1932, and the main floor opened to the public. The Museum’s director was Joaquín Sorolla y García, the artist’s son.

The Civil War interrupted the operation of the Museum, and the Board was suspended by decree in 1936. In 1941 it reopened with a new Board of Trustees, chaired this time by the Director General for Fine Arts.

1973. Incorporation into the Patronato Nacional de Museos (National Museums Board of Trustees)

In 1973 (by Ministerial Order of 26 April) the Board was changed again, although the Chairman continued to be the Director General for Fine Arts and the family remained members of the Board; the Museum was incorporated (by MO of 27 April) into the now-defunct National Museums Board of Trustees. This move marked the starting point of greater professionalization of the Museum, which was henceforth managed by a curator-director attached to the body of museum curators.

1993. Incorporation into the Spanish Museum System

The definitive change in the legal status of the Foundation and Museum was brought about in 1993 on implementation of Royal Decree 1386/1993, of 30 July. Article 2 of the aforementioned Decree states that “the Sorolla Museum, as a state-owned museum under the Department of State Museums of the Directorate-General for Fine Arts and Archives of the Ministry of Culture, shall be governed by the Regulation on State-owned Museums and the Spanish Museum System approved by Royal Decree 620/1987, of 10 April.” The same article repealed the Museum’s previous Regulation (1932).

Since then, the Sorolla Museum has been a state-owned museum managed directly by the Ministry of Culture (now the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport).

The Sorolla Museum Foundation continues to operate and work closely with the Museum.