Marbella’s print museum (Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo - MGEC) opened its doors for the first time on 28 November 1992. It is a run by a private, non-profit cultural foundation and the town hall provided the space, the old Bazán hospital in the old town, which had been restored by the Junta de Andalucía, as well as the staff.
It is the only museum of its kind in Spain and has become a point of reference for collectors and auction houses and an event to celebrate the anniversary was held there last weekend.
Over the 30 years the museum has celebrated a number of important milestones. The first was in 1996 when the International Goya Congress was held there to mark the 250th anniversary of the artist's birth.
"It was very important because the Year of Goya opened in Marbella at the museum and an international congress was held with leading specialists from Europe and the United States," museum director Germán Borrachero said.
Another important exhibition was Picasso's Minotauromaquia. "There was a very well-known print showing the Minotaur, the ladder and the girl at the window. The museum brought the work and all the proofs he had done beforehand from the Picasso Museum in Paris to Spain for the first time,” Borrachero said.
In 2015 the exhibition Millares: Pintura, Dibujos y un Artefacto (Painting, drawings and an artefact), was held at the museum, which included one of the few sculptures created by the artist. "It also put us on the map," said the director, but in addition, "from there we started to make a catalogue of all the graphic work by Manolo Millares", he explained.
This catalogue was also the first of many. "There are catalogues of everything the artist has produced, which makes them enormously useful for researchers and, above all, for the market (galleries and auction houses)," the specialist said.
The museum has become a point of reference for auction houses, and the director often receives enquiries about the specific technical specifications of a print.
"These catalogues will be a reference that will remain forever with the name of the Museo del Grabado de Marbella,” he finished.