"The main job of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) as a museum, apart from preservation, documentation and research, is to generate knowledge... After all, dissemination is another of a museum's chief purposes.
Furthermore, if one of the priorities of a country is also to explain and disseminate its art and compare it, whenever possible, with international art, the role of the MNAC as laid down in the 1990 Museum Law is central. This framework, too, gives a meaning to this guide, whose object is to establish a dialogue between the public and the works of art they contemplate, in an unbroken tour of almost 1,000 years of art in Catalonia, beginning with the presentation of a small, tenth-century altar and ending with the series of sculptures by Julio Gonzalez from the 1940s, or, in the case of photography, with the work of contemporary photographers. Nevertheless, the goal of the Museum has set itself of reaching as large a public as possible means that this tour must find a balance between the demands of the general public and the needs of connoisseurs and art scholars. This twofold demand, which is reflected in this guide, has been and is, for the Museum, a challenge and a stimulus. For this reason, it is a great satisfaction, both to me and to the Museum's team of specialists and professionals who have made it possible, that this guide should become an essential reference for anyone interested in the Catalan art of the last 1,000 years."
(extract from the wonderful introduction to the MNAC guide book, written by Eduard Carbonell i Esteller, Director of the MNAC to 2005.)
photo by bessie