From the early 1970s Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza became a fervent admirer and active collector of American Art and particularly of 19th century landscape painting. His collection was enlarged with twentieth-century works from the early modernists through Abstract Expressionism and up to Pop Art. As a result, the museum has an extensive display of American art and has become an essential reference point for its study and knowledge in the European context, especially 19th century landscape painting which is not represented in European collections.

Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Modern Painting Department will develop in 2021 and 2022 an in-depth research project on this part of the collection. For this purpose, the museum has appointed Alba Campo Rosillo, an art historian specialized in modern and contemporary art of the United Estates, as the Terra Foundation Research Fellow in American Art. The Fellow and the team of curators of Modern Painting will develop during 2021 and 2022 a research project with new approaches to American painting following late studies and analysis of leading international scholars and curators. Furthermore, they will conduct the study of a selected group of works from the museum’s 19th century American permanent collection.

As a result of the research the display American Art from the Thyssen Collection will be presented in November 2021, offering our visitors a fresh and new vision. The goal is to reconsider the present chronological presentation to focus in a more transversal and thematic approach. The accent will be put on categories as religion, politics, environment, popular culture, urban life, etc. to make public a richer understanding of American art and culture.

For more details

Project information

Departament: Modern Painting Department, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
Project team:
Paloma Alarcó, Chief Curator of Modern Painting 
Alba Campo Rosillo, Terra Foundation Research Fellow in American Art 
Clara Marcellán, Curator of Modern Painting 
Marta Ruiz del Árbol, Curator of Modern Painting 


With the support of:

TERRA. Foundation for American Art