Meadows Museum in Dallas Debuts Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture

by Jessica Fuentes October 11, 2023

Last week, the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas debuted the physical location of its Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture (CISAC).

Meadows Museum

Established in 2021 through gifts from Linda P. and William A. Custard and The Meadows Foundation, CISAC’s mission is to expand the museum’s research and educational programming. When the institute was first announced, Dr. P. Gregory Warden was named the Mark A. Roglán Director of the Custard Institute for Spanish Art and Culture. Mr. Warden is a former president of Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland, a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and a Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor at SMU, and an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

A headshot of art professor P. Gregory Warden.

P. Gregory Warden

In a press release, Mr. Warden remarked, “This beautiful new facility will allow us to continue to expand the museum’s strong research profile and engage the entire university community. The institute is establishing programs that will support emerging scholars and recognize outstanding research on the art of Spain. We will now also be able to create exciting new curricular initiatives on collecting, cultural heritage and museum management.”

The institute includes a seminar room, lounge, and offices for staff and fellows, and is housed in the Meadows Museum’s north wing, which has recently been renovated. The space was designed by The Beck Group, an architectural firm that has completed projects with the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The renovation also includes an expanded, non-circulating research library with private work areas for scholars and fellows. 

Dr. Amanda W. Dotseth, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts, stated, “The very best university art museums are unique on their campuses. They contribute to the intellectual life of higher education by unifying the theoretical with the tangible, supporting visitors in seeing the beauty in human creativity while also learning about the history, techniques, and forms that go into each object. For the Meadows Museum, an institution long grounded in scholarly excellence, the integration of an institute dedicated exclusively to research is as natural as it is visionary.” 

Over the past year, leading up to the dedication of the physical space, Mr. Warden has established an academic advisory board and developed several award programs to support research and scholarship on Spanish art. He established the Mark A. Roglán Publication Award, awarded annually to a publication on Spanish art from 1820 to 1920; the Custard Institute Travel Fellowships supporting research-related travel to Spain for North American doctoral students; and the Custard Institute Publication Subventions, which support peer-reviewed publications in English about Spanish art and material culture. Learn more about these awards via the Meadows’ website.

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