THE MASAVEU COLLECTION
The Masaveu Collection, owned by the Corporación Masaveu and managed by the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation since 2013, has assembled one of the most important private art collections in Spain. It stands out not only for its large number of pieces but also for their exceptional quality and variety, spanning from the Middle Ages to today. Founded in the 1930s and bolstered throughout several generations of the Masaveu Family, it is a unique example within private collecting in Spain among the new industrial and financial bourgeoisie from the 19th to 21st centuries, and a faithful reflection of its owners’ taste in art.
Initially focused on Mediaeval and Renaissance painting and decorative arts, and on Spanish Golden Age painting, the family’s interests gradually expanded towards other expressions of art from the subsequent centuries, and in the last few decades of the 20th century it added important names in contemporary art.
Works by renowned artists like Gerung, El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Murillo, Meléndez, Goya, Sorolla, Casas, Picasso, Braque, Dalí, Miró, Warhol and Barceló are part of the Masaveu Collection.
As the entity that manages the Masaveu Collection, the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation has embarked upon a new stage that seeks to encourage dissemination and knowledge of the collection by organising a variety of exhibition, publishing and research projects while also continuing its collecting through the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation.
THE MASAVEU FAMILY AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH ART
This family of businessmen, originally from Catalonia, started with Pedro Masaveu Rovira (1827–1885), who went to Oviedo in 1840 to work in its textile industry. His successor, Elías Masaveu Rivell (1847–1924), was the first to make the family’s taste for art visible by opening the first art gallery in Asturias: the Salón Masaveu (Oviedo).
Subsequently, Pedro Masaveu Masaveu (1886–1968), the son of Elías Masaveu, a businessman, banker and philanthropist, launched the Masaveu Collection in the 1930s. Most of his acquisitions, which focused on the Great Masters, went to the Palacio de Hevia (Siero, Asturias).
However, the family’s drive to collect gained momentum in the 20th century with his son Pedro Masaveu Peterson (1938–1993), the most important driving force behind the collection, as he updated and expanded the kinds of art acquired with pieces from both the Middle Ages and Modern Age and the 19th and 20th centuries, while also bringing back pieces from the Spanish heritage that were abroad and creating his own collection.
When he died without an heir, his sister, María Cristina Masaveu Peterson (1937–2006), took over the responsibility of conserving the collection along with her cousin, Elías Masaveu Alonso del Campo (1930–2005), whom she appointed President of the Group and manager of the collection. From then on, it started to be disseminated through loans, and they both continued to acquire works and engage in patronage. Following María Cristina’s decision, upon her death the family collection became part of the Corporación Masaveu, just as with her philanthropic spirit, in 1994 she decided that 410 works from her brother’s personal collection would be handed over to the Principality of Asturias (today the Pedro Masaveu Collection, Fine Arts Museum of Asturias).
Since 2006, Fernando Masaveu Herrero (1966) has kept up the tradition of collecting and patronage via the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation.