As most regular visitors to the island know, Mallorca is not just sun, sea and sand. It has a long and rich artistic history, and is a great place for those with a passion for painting and sculpture to experience some genuinely impressive collections. As well as a plethora of traditional galleries, there are plenty of opportunities to take home original and cutting-edge contemporary pieces, and even to see the artists at work in their studios.
Probably the most famous artist to live and work on the island, Joan Miró relocated from Barcelona to Palma in 1956 to seek out what he called ‘the light of Mallorca’. Both his wife and his mother were Mallorquin, so he had long had an attachment to the island, and he remained there until his death in 1983. Miró’s studio, designed by his architect friend Josep Lluis Sert, was left untouched after his death and is now open to visitors. Also open to the public is his other sculpture and painting space, Son Boter, an 18th-century house where Miró’s charcoal drawings still adorn the walls. In addition to the studio spaces and printmaking workshops, which are still in use today, there is an innovative museum and gallery space and a sculpture garden. The museum’s impressive collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints is mainly made up of works donated by Miró himself , and includes his oldest surviving oil painting.
Built into the ancient city walls, this contemporary art gallery features a superb setting overlooking Palma’s main marina, with impressive city and sea panoramas from the top of its 16th-century ramparts. The architecture also cleverly fuses 21st-century glass and concrete with the medieval sandstone walls, while a series of ramps and terraces connect bright and airy exhibition spaces. The permanent collection boasts paintings and ceramics by Picasso, Barceló and Miró, Sorolla and Rusiñol, while you can also catch regular temporary exhibitions by international and local contemporary artists. Refer to their website for a full list of exhibitions and a schedule of visiting works.
If you needed any further encouragement to visit the stunning area of Sóller, this may be it. Housed within a stunning modernist mansion designed by Joan Rubio, the Can Prunera Museum of Modernism is located on Carrer de Sa Lluna. This incredible destination houses works by Lautrec, Gauguin, Klimt, Kandinsky, Klee, Man Ray, Cezanne, Picasso, Miró, Barceló, Tapiès, Chillida and more. A section of the gallery celebrates Sóller-native Juli Ramis, who lived and worked in the neighbouring village of Biniaraix.
Located in an 18th-century building in the heart of Palma, the Juan March Foundation and Museum houses 70 works by the most important Spanish artists in history, including Dalí, Gris, Picasso and Miró, as well as famous contemporary artists from the 20th century. The museum also houses unique and long-running temporary exhibitions showing print, photographic and graphic artwork. For the dedicated art lover there are also classes and lectures about the temporary exhibitions, running from September to June.
Situated just beyond the iconic cathedral and palace of Palma lies the Bartolomé March Foundation, once the residence of the famously wealthy March family. The handsome space is now home to original sculptures by Rodin, Moore, Hepworth and Chillida, as well as paintings by Dalí, Sert and Corberó, and an extensive collection of Belen Napolitano figures. After taking a tour of the outside space where many of the sculptures are on display, you can wander among the 20 or so masterpieces by Dalí on the themes of alchemy and eternity. Upstairs there are painted ceilings by Sert as well as medieval and early modern maps of the Mediterranean produced by Mallorcan cartographers.
CCA is one of the largest centres of contemporary art in the Balearics and mainland Spain. Just 30 minutes away from Palma and on the southwestern side of the majestic Tramuntana mountain range, this centre is a year round hub of activity for artists and art-lovers alike. There are regular meet the artist talks, workshops for children, poetry readings, brunches and more. The galleries display a wide variety of sculptures, paintings, graphic design and installations from national and international artists; the works are often for sale. Artists who have been invited to live and work in the onsite CCA Studios are also given pride of place in the gallery.