La Culture acquires the Lafuente Archives for 29.7 million euros

  • The archive, created in Santander José María Lafuente in 2002, is a “collection of collections” of contemporary art and unique in its representation of counterculture and Spanish comics of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Council of Ministers approved the acquisition for 29,795,045.21 euros of the collection Lafuente Archives which will be part of the funds of the Queen Sophia Museuman amount to be paid in eleven annual installments.

The Lafuente Archivescreated by José María Lafuente in 2002, is a “archive files”a collection of contemporary art collections specializing in the history of 20th-century art in Latin America, the United States and Europe, with a particular focus on Spain, according to the ministry.

The collection consists of approximately 130,000 coins and covers multiple formats: photographs, correspondence, manuscripts, manifestos, books, comics, magazines, newspapers, posters, drawings, prints or graphic arts, works of art. There are also artist books, photo books, print projects and manuscripts of concept, action and live art works, graphic design templates, mail art pieces and band originals. drawn, among others.

The Lafuente Archives holdings are “unique” in areas such as Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism, the Russian avant-garde and Soviet artistic production, the typographical revolution of the early 20th century. Yes, in a “particularly relevant” way, in the artistic production networks of the second half of the 20th century: experimental writing and poetry (in the broadest sense of the term), artists’ publications and mail art. “We do not pay for everything, if we had to pay what these 130,000 pieces are worth, there is no money in the general budgets for this year”, the Minister of Culture declared a few months ago during of the negotiation of the purchase.


Works and texts by artists such as Ray Johnson, Gianni Bertini, José Luis Castillejo, Henri Chopin, Edgardo Antonio Vigo, George Maciunas or Marcel Broodthaers are part of the collection. The Lafuente Archives are considered comparable to only two of the most important private collections in the United States and Europe: the Merrill C. Berman collection and the Edigio Marzona collectionwith whom he has retained points of affinity.

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This file is unique because the representation of the counterculture and Spanish comics of the 1970s and 198s0, with unique collections of publications and authors: ‘Ajoblanco’ magazine, ‘Star’ magazine, Nazario, El Cubri, Ceesepe, etc.

The collection, currently in Cantabria, will stay in a center associated with the Reina Sofía de Santander Museumwhose work has already begun in the former headquarters of the Bank of Spain in charge of the town hall of Santander.

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