Tue-Sat, 10am-4:30pm; Sun, 1pm-4pm; Mon, closed
B, D at 155th St.
Founded in 1904, this free museum of Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American and Filipino art, artifacts and books, is often overlooked—most likely due to its out-of-the-way, upper Manhattan location. The omission is unfortunate, considering the beauty of the Beaux-Arts building on stately Audubon Terrace, and the mastery of the works inside. The entrance leads to an interior Renaissance-style patio, decorated with terracotta tiles and illuminated by a skylight. An adjacent room displays wall-to-wall commissioned paintings by the 19th-20th century artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, depicting scenes of Spanish life. Upstairs, the main gallery holds works by artists from the 16th century forward, most notably several pieces each by Diego Velázquez (Portrait of a Little Girl) and Francisco Goya (The Duchess of Alba). Bronze Age antiquities, Hispano-Moresque lusterware and ornate liturgical vestments are prominent among the museum's collection of textiles, decorative arts and sculpture. Subjects of temporary exhibits have included the photography of Western Spain, and the influence of Islamic culture on Spanish illustration and printmaking.Library
The Society's research library has a collection of over 250,000 books and periodicals on Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the Philippines. Its restricted archive holds more than 15,000 books published before 1701, including some extremely rare treasures, such as first editions of Don Quixote and Celestina, which may only be viewed by international VIPs.
The museum's setting—land that was originally part of naturalist John Jay Audubon's farm—also houses the American Numismatic Society, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Boricua College. The location was developed as a cultural center by the Hispanic Society's founder Archer Milton Huntington.
The building has no air conditioning, and the library is closed during the month of August, so visit during another season.
Classes & Lectures
Free art lectures by the museum's curators generally take place in the afternoon on select Saturdays.
Member benefits include discounts on museum gifts and publications, invitations to openings and events, and a subscription to the newsletter. The minimum annual fee is $50.