The ABC collection brings together nearly two hundred thousand original drawings and illustrations which were originally published on the pages of the Blanco y Negro magazine and the ABC newspaper and can now be seen in the museum. It is an illustrated retrospective of over a century of Spanish history through the critical eyes of the best artists at each significant moment in our country's history, from the Restoration to our own time.
Since the appearance of the weekly Blanco y Negro in 1891 and that of the ABC newspaper in 1903, both publications have shown great concern for promoting the art and culture of every period through drawing and illustration. The work of many of the country's finest artists has appeared on their pages and the originals have been conserved. Different currents such as naturalism, impressionism, art nouveau and symbolism can be seen in the ABC collection, where we find such important names as Ramón Casas, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Eugenio D'Ors, Maruja Mallo and Juan Gris.
The ABC Museum of Drawing and Illustration is intended to be an open, multi-purpose centre for specialists and the general public alike. It is not limited to the conservation and dissemination of the ABC collection but will host exhibitions of work from other art centres and promote the work of new artists.
The Museum's cultural project area has drawn up a programme of activities which includes workshops for children and families and courses in illustration and the production of comics, to bring art to a wider public. These activities are complemented with guided visits for the public and for groups, entitled "Paseos por la muestra" (Strolling round the exhibition).
To carry out all these activities the ABC Museum of Drawing and Illustration has been set up in Calle Amaniel, in the University district and very close to other places of artistic interest, such as the Conde Duque Cultural Centre and the Convento de las Comendadoras. The building was the work of José López Salaberry, one of the architects responsible for the Gran Vía, and it initially housed the first Mahou beer brewery in Madrid.
It has been refurbished as an art centre by the Aranguren & Gallegos architectural studio, who have produced a project which is innovative but in keeping with the surroundings. The new museum covers an area of over 3,000 m2, on six floors, two of which are below ground floor level. It contains exhibition rooms, multifunctional areas, a restoration laboratory, store rooms, a cafeteria and a shoptienda.
ABC Museum of Drawing and Illustration
Address: Amaniel, 29-31
Metro: Noviciado (L2), Plaza de España (L3, L10).
Bus lines: C, 1, 2, 21, 74
Telephone: (+34) 91 758 83 79
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 8pm; Sundays, 11am to 2pm (including public holidays). On December 24 and 31 and January 6 from 10am to 2pm.Closed: Every Monday (including public holidays) and on December 25, January 1, Easter Friday and May 1..
Admission fee: free entry (gudied tour 5 €/person)