Diputació de Tarragona

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History of the Museum

In 1976, the Diputació de Tarragona founded the Museum of Modern Art in order to conserve and exhibit the Institution’s artistic heritage. In fact, the collections of the Diputació began in the early 1960s, when it acquired from the brothers of the sculptor Julio Antonio all the works of the artist in their possession. From this moment on, under the advice of the Director of the Tarragona School of Art, Lluís M. Saumells, collections of the works of the sculptors Santiago Costa i Vaqué and Salvador Martorell i Ollé, and the collections of paintings of Josep Sancho i Piqué, were purchased.

Also, since 1943, initially on an annual basis and then every two years, the Diputació has awarded the Julio Antonio sculpture prize and the Josep Tapiró painting prize, maintaining ownership rights over the prize-winning works.

In fact, the Diputació of Tarragona conserved a significant quantity of artistic heritage that was not on view to the general public.

Since 1976, following the transfer of the School of Art from its former premises in Carrer de Santa Anna to the new site at Sant Pere Sacelades, it has occupied part of Casa Martí, which previously housed the aforementioned School, where the Museum of Modern Art of the Diputació of Tarragona has been located ever since.