Anna V. Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973)
This is a bust of Archer Milton Huntington, who on his first trip to Europe in 1882, came across a book that sparked his interest in Spain: ‘The Zincali’, by George Borrow. His trips to Spain would become recurrent throughout his life, and it was there that he developed his interest in collecting. He would seek out a broad range of items from archaeology and the history of Hispanic art. In 1904, he founded the Hispanic Society of America in New York, to which he donated his collections.
This bust was made by the sculptor Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington - his wife - who studied in New York and travelled to Paris in the early 20th century. Bronze was her favourite material, and she used lost-wax casting to create multiple versions of her most famous sculptures. She became interested in figural movement due to her taste for music. Consequently, her style can be considered part of the aestheticist movement of “Musicism”, although she always rejected any attempts to explain her works or attribute them to the influence of other artists.
This sculpture was based on a bust she made almost thirty years prior, which is very similar in its face and clothing. That piece is now held by the Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Hyatt sent versions of this bust to two of the museums of which her husband was a patron, the then-El Greco House Museum in Toledo and the House of Cervantes Museum in Valladolid. She sent them through the then-director of the Prado Museum, Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón, so that they could be placed alongside Mariano Benlliure’s busts of the Marquis de la Vega Inclán.
Las mujeres cambian los museos: Anna Hyatt, una escultura que encuentra su lugar
Con motivo del proyecto 'Ellas crean 2022', en el cual participaron los dieciséis museos de titularidad estatal dependientes de la Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural y Bellas Artes, el Museo del Greco ha rescatado de sus almacenes para su exposición permanente el busto de Archer Milton Huntington, que realizara su esposa en 1958. Esta video-carta es una declaración de intenciones, una promesa de recuperar el papel de las mujeres en el museo, revisando las colecciones y los relatos presentados a través del discurso museográfico.