Latino Cultural Center, Dallas
From the 23rd to the 30th of June in the Latino Cultural Center of Dallas,Texas (USA), and from the 9th of July to the 4th of September in The Michelson Museum of Art of Marshall, Texas (USA)
- The collection has been formed since 1899 by adding one painting per year. All of them have been painted to illustrate the MAXAM calendar, first one starting in 1900.
- The paintings are commissioned to critical and publicly renowned painters.
- The requests made to the painters are: figurative style and to be based on one of the company’s activities (mining, construction, hunting…).
- More than 100 paintings that gather some of the most important Spanish painters of the XX and XXI centuries: Arturo Mélida, Cecilio Plá, Manuel Benedito, Julio Romero de Torres, Eduardo Arroyo, Rafael Canogar, Luis Gordillo, Isabel Quintanilla,…
- The protagonists and landscapes of the paintings take us through the evolution not only of art but also of our society and habits (i.e: fashion).
- The calendar´s high distribution numbers in Spain and the popular calendar collections that people build up made them become popularly known as “the museum of those that never go to a museum” in a time of limited access to cultural institutions.
- The almanac is currently distributed to almost 50 different countries through MAXAM’ssubsidiaries around the world.
- After several displays in Spain starting from 1999 and its first ever international display in Kazakhstan in 2013, MAXAM Collection now arrives at the U.S.
The birth of the MAXAM Collection goes back to 1899. Twenty-five years after MAXAM was founded by Alfred Nobel in 1872 as a manufacturer of blasting products for mining, quarrying and construction, our company embarked on a new activity: shooting and hunting sport shotshells.
It was a wider and more popular sector into which the commercial message had to be introduced by a range of means. At that time, the Company had two headquarters, in both Bilbao and Paris. In the French capital, the use of billboard advertising was all the rage, and it was perhaps there that the idea that led to the MAXAM Collection started to gestate. At a time in which there were no social networks or internet, no television or color press, a poster used to front a calendar was a good method of promoting the Company’s products every day of the year.
Paintings ordered to illustrate the calendar
The same method has always been used to illustrate the poster: commission a prestigious artist of critical and public renown to paint an exclusive piece of artwork for us with the purpose of being reproduced as a calendar. A tradition we started in 1899 for our 1900 calendar, and which we have repeated every year since.
What do we ask the artist for? The image to be figurative, to have in mind that it is going to be reproduced as a poster, and its content to be related to our activities. In addition to those we have already mentioned, involving blasting products and services, and sporting shotshells, these also include products and services for the defence industry, and key raw materials for nitro-chemical activities.
Among the collection’s artists are some of the most representative figures of 20th and 21st-century Spanish painting: Arturo Mélida, Cecilio Plá, Manuel Benedito, Julio Romero de Torres, Manolo Valdés, Rafael Canogar, Eduardo Arroyo, Isabel Quintanilla, Ángel Mateo Charris and so on.
More than a hundred years, more than a hundred paintings
That is how it has carried on for more than a hundred years, with more than a hundred calendars and other works that make up a collection that is unique in its concept, subject matter and style. A pioneering initiative in the field of commercial patronage, which at its outset constituted a mean to popularize art throughout society.
The calendar collections, in their day considered “the museum for those who have never been to a museum”, are nowadays well known by the general public through the exhibitions that the MAXAM Foundation periodically organizes to display the works of art that illustrated the calendars.
Through their creations we can observe the evolution of not just the art of painting, but also that of our society and our habits, as well as the world around us, the world that MAXAM’s products shape.
“MAXAM Collection. Spanish painting since 1900” will be open to the public at:
- Latino Cultural Center of Dallas, Texas (USA) from the 23rd to the 30th of June.
- The Michelson Museum of Art in Marshall, Texas (USA) from the 9th of July to the 4th of September.