Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter Exhibition

April 03, 2023 - July 16, 2023 | All day

This exhibition offers an unprecedented look at the life and artistic achievements of seventeenth-century Afro-Hispanic painter Juan de Pareja (ca. 1608–1670). Largely known today as the subject of The Met’s iconic portrait by Diego Velázquez, Pareja was enslaved in Velázquez’s studio for over two decades before becoming an artist in his own right. This presentation is the first to tell his story and examine the role of enslaved artisanal labor and a multiracial society in the art and material culture of Spain’s so-called “Golden Age.”

Harlem Renaissance collector and scholar Arturo Schomburg was vital to the recovery of Pareja’s work and serves as a thread connecting seventeenth-century Spain with twentieth-century New York, providing a lens through which to view the multiple histories that have been written about Pareja.

SUNY Press author and series editor Vanessa K. Valdés, is the exhibition co-curator and Associate Provost for Community Engagement and Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at The City College of New York, added, “Pareja’s artistic legacy reverberates across the canons of Western art and the African diaspora into our time. This project follows in the footsteps of Arturo Schomburg and joins the efforts of scholars who continue to recover the contributions of all peoples of African descent, including those of Afro-Hispanic heritage like Pareja, in order to better understand the full complexity and richness of the global Black experience.”

Event Details


New York, NY - The Met Fifth Avenue, Galleries 955 and 960–962

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