Collection of former Prime Minister of Peru donated to museum

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The Spanish Colonial Arts Society announces the largest permanent gift of art from outside of New Mexico, ever donated to the society in its 88-year history.
An exhibition of the gift items will open to the public on June 22 at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, 750 Camino Lejo on Museum Hill in Santa Fe.
Silver filigree baskets from Ayacucho, gilded frames from Cuzco, reverse-painted glass from Cajamarca, folding screens from Korea and China, porcelain tableware from France, silver-plated dessert settings from London — these were just some of the furnishings found in the elegant home of Miriam and Pedro Beltrán in Lima in the 1950s where dignitaries from around the world were entertained.
The collection amassed by the Beltráns, guided by Miriam’s artistic eye, reflects not only their international life style, but their abiding interest in and passion for Peru.
Side-by-side with European and Asian golden age furnishings are pieces emblematic of Peru and its history.
Selected to be Peru’s Ambassador to the United States, Peru’s prime minister and minister of finance and editor and publisher of Peru’s highly regarded newspaper, La Prensa, Beltrán was the quintessential Peruvian gentleman.
A lifelong advocate of free speech, he was awarded Columbia School of Journalism’s prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Award for Freedom of the Press.
Beltrán’s economic reforms during his tenure as minister of finance stabilized Peru’s economy and mobilized the middle class.
Miriam, a junior economic analyst for the Department of State and a founding member of Lima’s Museum of Fine Arts, was no less passionate about her adopted country. Their story and collection will be on view along with the exhibition.
The 355 piece collection includes: Rare églomisé — reverse painting on glass — frame; two 18th century paintings with carved and gilt wooden frames; silver panel relief of Abraham, Isaac and angel; table with marquetry of incised ivory and tortoise shell; a 17th century silver cross with repoussée designs; An 18th century mother of pearl tortoise shell inlay box; ornate filigree works including baskets, serving tray and more. Plus, numerous paintings, silver pieces and other decorative items.
“This will help highlight the unique attributes and qualities of New Mexico’s Spanish Colonial art in the context of our role in the Spanish Colonial Empire, worldwide,” John Schaefer, owner of Peyton Wright Gallery said. “Spanish Colonial art is the last great unexplored, undeveloped frontier in art in the world.”
For more information call
982-2226 or visit spanishcolonial.org.