Sitges celebrates the centenary of the singular Maricel architectural ensemble with a cultural program and the rehabilitation of the Palau

The commemoration claims the legacy of Noucentisme through an exhibition, publications, background digitalization, guided tours, children's workshops and merchandising

Maricel, the singular architectural complex that Miquel Utrillo designed in one of the most privileged places in Sitges, a hundred years ago. The Sitges Heritage Consortium has programmed a series of activities aimed at vindicating the precious legacy of one of the capital buildings to understand the Noucentisme and that form part of the calendar of official cultural commemorations of the Generalitat of Catalonia, since the Centenary of Maricel was proclaimed national commemoration on September 27 by the Generalitat de Catalunya. The celebration serves, at the same time, as an excellent letter to present an ambitious plan for the structural rehabilitation and museumisation of the Palau, which is one of the spaces that make up the Maricel group, valued at 3 million euros that contribute the City Council of Sitges and the Diputació de Barcelona.

Maricel is pure art. It was a hundred years ago, when it was built, and it is today, since it hosts several cultural facilities: the Maricel Museum, the Maricel Palace, the Santiago Rusiñol Library, the Sitges Historical Archive and the municipal offices in the which was the residence of Lola Anglada. Both the Museum and the Palace are managed by the Sitges Heritage Consortium - together with the Cau Ferrat, the Romantic Museum, the Stämpfli Foundation and the Can Falç Foundation - and constitute two active sources of cultural heritage and cultural dynamism: in the case of Museu de Maricel as the headquarters of the collections of Doctor Jesús Pérez-Rosales and Art de la Vila, which presents a complete artistic itinerary from the 10th century up to the realism and the figuration of the first half of the 20th century; and in the case of the Maricel Palace as the venue for cultural and institutional activities and space for visits in guided tours.

The commemoration of the Centenary of Maricel acts on several axes, under the coordination of the director-manager of the Sitges Heritage Consortium, Vinyet Panyella. The most important act will be in autumn: an exhibition about the first years of Maricel, which will mainly embrace the period from the beginning of the works (1910) until the outbreak of the Civil War. The exhibition, curated by Ignasi Domènech and Sebastià Sànchez Sauleda, will occupy the ground floor of the Maricel Museum and temporary exhibition hall at Can Rocamora.

In addition to this show, the program includes the publication of the book Maricel. Centenary of culture in Sitges , the opening of new guided itineraries, the digitalization of the entire collection regarding Maricel, various activities such as school workshops and cultural events, as well as an exclusive merchandising program.

The Maricel Centennial program allows the Museums of Sitges to maintain an intense calendar of cultural celebrations, following the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ramon Casas (celebrated in 2016 and the beginning of 2017 hosting the central exhibition) and from the centenary of the emblematic work L'auca del senyor Esteve , by Santiago Rusiñol (this past 2017).

The logo of the commemoration is the characteristic coat of arms of Maricel, which in 1912 designed Miquel Utrillo from the drawing of the cover of the book Oracions , by Santiago Rusiñol (1897), which he had illustrated in its entirety. Represents the sun rising and radiant on the blue sea. The Pasgráfic ary study from Sitges configured its graphical adaptation with the various applications.



* Exhibition Maricel 1910-1936 (provisional title)
Museu de Maricel (ground floor and temporary exhibition hall of Can Rocamora)
October 2018 - February 2019
Curator: Ignasi Domènech, head of Collections of CPS and Sebastià Sànchez Sauleda, art historian and researcher on the old art collections of Maricel during the time of Charles Deering.

The exhibition is dedicated to explaining the history and evolution of Maricel's artistic complex since the acquisition of the old San Juan hospital by Charles Deering, the great transformation carried out by Miquel Utrillo, the growth of the Maricel group and the Its stages and its evolution until 1936, with an epilogue until the present moment. One of the key points of the exhibition is the situation of Maricel in the context of the international collecting of the time, as well as the description of the art collection, for which several works have been requested who had been part of them. Noucentisme, international collecting, Hispanic art and cultural history constitute the four axes of the exhibition. The exhibition will emphasize what Maricel's construction meant for the transformation of Sitges and its new staging as one of the most important cultural spaces in southern Europe.

The sections of the exhibition, which will bring old photographs and unpublished documents together with paintings, sculpture, artistic objects, audiovisuals and models of the set, are configured mainly in three areas:
- The construction of the building: the preliminary of a new architectural language. The artisans and artists who are worthy to collaborate. The transformation of Sitges;
- The main characters: Deering, Utrillo, Casas. The art and collecting market of the time.
- The Deering Collection, bringing to Sitges several of the works that were dispersed in 1921. 

On the occasion of the exhibition its corresponding edition will be published  guide , in various languages. The exhibition will be complemented by a cycle of conferences, and workshops for adults and school. During the exhibition, guided tours will be offered to groups and also to individuals, in different languages. Possibility of hiring exclusive visits . Before and during the exhibition, the possibility of the Maricel integral itinerary will be offered, a route inside and outside the building dedicated to highlighting its most important historical and artistic aspects.

* Publication of the book Maricel. One hundred years of art and culture in Sitges
Co-edited by the Diputació de Barcelona and the Sitges Heritage Consortium
Direction and coordination, by Vinyet Panyella. Editorial Coordination Fernando Milian and Gemma Peres. Contributors: Roland Sierra, historian; Jennifer Tisthammer, Director of Deering Estate, Miami; Sebastià Sànchez Sauleda, historian of art; Ignasi Domènech, art historian and Head of Collections of the Sitges Heritage Consortium; Carme Camps, documentalist.
Edition in Catalan, Spanish and English.
Appearance: Autumn 2018.

The work deals with the transformation of the old district of Sant Joan; the personalities of Charles Deering and Miquel Utrillo; the construction of Maricel, its stages and the main events, as well as its link to Noucentisme.

* Itinerary Maricel integral
Guided tours of the Centenary for the exterior and the interior of the entire architectural complex, accompanied by an explanatory leaflet for dissemination (edition in Catalan, Spanish, English and French). Duration: Spring 2018 - 2019 winter

* Maricel digital project open
The objective of the project is to make accessible the accessibility through a specific portal to the digitalized documentation of public domain referring to Maricel from various archives and collections, from 1909 to the present day.
Access in Catalan, Spanish and English.
Project in phase planning process (2018-2019). 

* School and family workshops
Periodically scheduled and during the exhibition.

* Maricel exclusive merchandising program
The activities of the days dedicated to museums and heritage, as well as those of the Sitges calendar will be dedicated to various aspects of Maricel, and will be announced with the regular programming of the museums of Sitges and through the website