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San Antonio

Spanish Royalty In San Antonio, Takes In '500 Years of Spanish Painting' At Museum Of Art

Jack Morgan
Texas Public Radio
Katie Luber, from left, Erika Prosper, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia

For their last day in San Antonio, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain visited the San Antonio Museum of Art.

About 60 journalists, split between local and those covering the visit from outlets in Spain, met the royal couple.

Credit Jack Morgan / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Ignacio Zuloaga,Spanish, 1870-1945 Young Village Bullfighters (Torerillos de pueblo), 1906

The museum’s director Katie Luber said there's much to see in their new "500 Years of Spanish Painting" exhibit.

"Great paintings from eight of the most important museums in Madrid, on the occasion of our city's tricentennial," she said.

That tricentennial is the reason why the royals visited San Antonio, though Luber says the exhibition's origins actually predate the scheduled visit.

"We were planning this for many, many years, and we like to think that this exceptional exhibition was part of the reason that the king and queen were excited to come to San Antonio," she said.

As to what the exhibition covers,  Luber said the title “500 Years of Spanish Painting” spans the Gothic era, through the Renaissance and El Siglo De Oro, which is the 17th century, through the age of Enlightenment, “and looking to the 19th century, and ending with Picasso, who is the great triumph of Modernism."

Mayor Ron Nirenberg spent time with the royals during their tour of the Alamo City.

Credit Jack Morgan / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
Antonio Maria Esquivel, Spanish, 1806-1857 Museo Del Romanticismo, Madrid

"They were very appreciative of the diversity of our culinary community,” he said. “In fact, I had long discussion with the king about how much the culinary community has driven trade and tourism."

During their stay, the king and queen dined at the Pearl on food cooked by the city's culinary superstars, Johnny Hernandez, Elizabeth Johnson and Steven McHugh.

"Certainly, we were glad to bring out three of our top chefs here in San Antonio," he said.

The exhibit opens Saturday to the public. The royal couple now heads to Washington D.C. to meet President Trump.  

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org