We spent a great day at the museum at the beginning of May. There's so much to look at, we could have easily spent the whole day there.
The Fundacion Yannick y Ben Jakober was started in 1993, the same year that the cistern on the couple’s property was transformed into an underground gallery to accommodate a unique collection of children’s portraits from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Two years later, groups started to visit the estate to see this collection. By January 2001 it was opened to the public permanently and many came to see the Nins gallery, the rose garden and the sculpture garden together.
Five years later, the house in which the couple lived, a property they had built for them by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, was opened up too. An elaborate labyrinth of room after room, it houses a vast collection of contemporary art and unique architectural features such asthe Mudejar coffered ceiling.
The Foundation’s objective is “to preserve and to restore, to promote the educational, artistic and scientific potential in the sphere of biodiversity and it is to promote Fine Arts in general, painting and sculpture in particular, through the exhibition of works and the spread of knowledge.”
Here you can find a crystal curtain by Swarovski, that forms the backdrop to a fossilised skeleton of a Siberian Woolly Rhinoceros, there are works by contemporary artists including Miquel Barcelo and Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu themselves. James Turrel’s Juke Blue is also on display.
The Nins Collection
A collection of 150 paintings, with a common theme — children painted by artists across Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries. Started more than 40 years ago, this has become an important collection of art.
The museum has its own zoo! The large granite works were created by Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu who were inspired by archaeological pieces around the world.
Designed by Hassan Fathy (of Cairo), the house is a Hispano Moresque building. Fathy retained just the outside walls of an existing farmhouse. With white crenellated walls, traditional vaults and domes the façade is otherwise left plain, instead the central courtyard with gardens and fountains form the heart of the house. Most windows are covered by wooden lattices called “Mashrabiyas” and the doors and floor tiling are antique elements brought from Andalusia, Northern Spain and Morocco.
It is in this extraordinary house that more contemporary art can be found.
Walking around the estate of the Sa Bassa Blanca museum, it’s hard to believe that this is so under the radar, this should be on everyone’s must-see list. It is a veritable gem of modern art, a space where you can enjoy the art that surrounds you. It is well worth a visit, and with so much to see, bring a picnic and have lunch in the sculpture garden before taking on the next stage.
For more information including opening hours and ticket price, visit their website.