Jonathan Brown, director of the Academic Chair 2012
Jonathan Brown (born 1939, Springfield, Massachusetts) is a Spanish hispanist and leading specialist in 16th- and 17th-century Spanish art and Velázquez. Having obtained his doctorate in 1964 at Princeton University he has engaged in a lengthy career during which he has written and edited a wide range of publications, curated exhibitions, published articles in specialist publications and given lectures around the world.
Professor Brown is currently Carroll and Milton Petri Professor of Fine Arts at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. As a researcher his interests have focused on the study of painting and drawing in Spain, the history of collecting and art at the European courts in the 17th century, and the art of the Spanish colonial territories in South America. Among his most influential publications are his texts on Zurbarán and Ribera, while A Palace for a King. The Buen Retiro and the Court of Philip IV, co-written with the English historian John H. Elliott and published in 1987, was extremely innovative methodologically and offered a new perspective on artistic patronage at the Spanish court. Professor Brown’s books Velázquez, Painter and Courtier, published in 1986, and The Golden Age of Painting in Spain of 1990 are now essential texts for a knowledge of European art in the early modern age.
Professor Brown has worked with numerous American museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. For the Museo del Prado he curated Velázquez, Rubens and Van Dyck, an exhibition organised in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the birth of Velázquez (1999). He was also co-curator with Sir John Elliott of the exhibitions em>The Sale of the Century (2002) and The Palace of the Planet King (2005). In 2010 Professor Brown curated the exhibition Painting from the Viceroyalties. Shared identities in the Hispanic World, held at the Museo del Prado and the Palacio Real in Madrid. A Member of the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and a board member of the Fundación Duques de Soria, in 1986 he was awarded the Spanish Gold Medal for Fine Arts while in 1996 he was honoured with the Grand Cross of Alfonso X El Sabio. Professor Brown is an active member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 2010 he was awarded the International Prize of the Fundación Cristóbal Gabarrón for Restoration and Conservation.