Battle of Galveston

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Map of Galveston Battlefield, 1863. Courtesy of Battlefield Protection Program and National Park Service.

Major General John Bankhead Magruder arrived in Texas in late October 1862 and immediately sought to regain the laurels he had earned on the Virginia Peninsula. Galveston, Texas’s major port, had been conquered by Union naval forces earlier the same month. Consequently, Magruder decided to organize a land sea operation to break the Union grip on Galveston thereby reopening this port to Confederate blockade runners. Galveston would remain in Confederate hands until the war’s conclusion.

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Columbus and Bush

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Christopher Columbus leaving Palos, Spain by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida
Christopher Columbus leaving Palos, Spain by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

We frequently loan out objects to other museums, just as we frequently borrow objects for our exhibitions.  Our hit exhibition this summer, Fragile Waters, was all borrowed material.  We recently sent a painting that is a vital part of our Age of Exploration gallery out on loan.  While we would not ordinarily loan an object that was on display at our institution, we decided to make an exception because this piece was considered to be very important for the exhibition.  The painting I am referring to (pictured below) is titled Christopher Columbus leaving Palos, Spain painted ca 1910 by  Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida.  Sorolla wanted this portrait of Columbus to be as accurate as possible, so he did a considerable amount of research, sketches and even had a descendant of Columbus, the Duke of Veragua, pose for the painting.

This brings me to the loan bit.  We loaned it to the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for their exhibition Sorrolla & America.  The exhibition opened on December 13 and will remain there until April 19, 2014.  After Texas it will be heading to The San Diego Museum of Art (May 30-August 26, 2014) and Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid (September 23, 2014-January 11, 2015).  What excited us was that The Meadows Museum sent us a picture of a special visitor with our painting after the exhibition had opened, former President George W. Bush!  (pictured below)  I’ve got to say, it’s pretty cool that a former President has been photographed with our painting.   Read more