Julio Gavín-Larrés Castle Museum of Drawing – Museo de Dibujo Julio Gavín “Castillo de Larrés”
The museum is named after its founder Julio Gavín, who was also its director until his death.
The village of Larrés is about six kilometres from Sabiñánigo and has the honour of being the ancestral home of the Ramón y Cajal family. The Castle was built at the end of the 14th Century and beginning of the 15th Century on the site of an 11th Century defensive tower. The Castle was extended in the 16th Century.
The Urriés, a renowned noble family in Aragon, owned the Castle until the 19thCentury, by which time it had been virtually abandoned. It went on sale and was bought by Sixto Belío. His descendants, the Castejón Royo brothers, donated it to the Amigos de Serrablo association in 1983.
Julio Gavín, who was president of the association, initiated contact with authorities in order to get the financial assistance required to restore the Castle. He also established contacts with galleries and artists who donated time and expertise, without which the project would not have been possible. Three years of hard work followed. The Museum opened in September 1986. It is the only museum in the country that is wholly dedicated to the discipline of drawing.
The Museum’s collection is made up of approximately 3,000 works by 700 artists. It is one of the most complete and representative collections of 20th Century Spanish art, and is unique in that all its pieces have been donated either by the artist or their families, or by art galleries and collectors. As a result, the Museum is in a state of constant development.
Because of the layout of the building, the exhibition spaces are divided into 14 rooms across two floors and one of the towers. About 350 pieces are on show to the public at any one time, and they are changed periodically.
To give visitors the opportunity to get to know the collection better and in order to show works by all the artists in the collection, the Museum organises different temporary exhibitions throughout the year; it also lends pieces to specific exhibitions at other centres and collaborates with different institutions on exhibitions in other locations.
The courtyard, with its lovely pointed arches, is an ideal setting for concerts, conferences, book launches and all sorts of activities and events. Furthermore, the Museum has a library that specialises in drawing and is continuously expanding its own collection.