Perez Galdos Museum House in Playa del Ingles, Las Palmas, Spain | Museum
The Museum was opened in May 1964.
The property is a representation of domestic Canarian architecture from the 19th century, arranged according to the traditional model around two central indoor courtyard. It maintains the original materials and structure, although some modifications were necessary for the Museum.
As far as the museography design of the permanent exhibitions are concerned, the rooms were made into realistic recreations of the domestic and family environments in which the writer’s life took place, first in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. In these rooms, furniture, works of art, photographs, decorative objects, musical instruments, all belonging to Perez Galdos, are shown. These objects give witness to the physical space that surrounded the daily life of the novelist during the 19th century. The furniture allocated to the library, designed by the writer himself, and the collections of drawings given for the illustrated edition of Episodios Nacionales to Gómez Soler, Enrique and Arturo Mélida, Aureliano Beruete and Apeles Mestres, amongst others, are some examples of the artistic importance of the pieces on show. Also worthy of note is Retrato de Galdós by Joaquín Sorolla, the Vista de Orbajosa by Aureliano Beruete, and the sculpture created by Victorio Macho in hommage to Perez Galdos.
The pieces in the Museum’s collection have either been donated or bought directly from the Perez Galdoz, or from different acquisitions or donations. Documents, such as letters and most especially manuscripts, have been bought at auction from other collections.
In terms of public services, the whole documentation has what we would call, a historic collection (all that pertains to Perez Galdos) and other present collections. This historic collection has, together with its own intrinsic value, (first editions, bibliophile editions, etc) added value from belonging to and from being used by Galdós, which in certain documents preserve the writer’s trace from reading notes and drawings.
A great part of the Perez Galdos Museum House’s time is dealing with the demand for documentation and promoting the research of initiatives such as the celebration of the International Congress every four years; the creation of the Perez Galdos Research Prize, of biannual frequency; and the agreement with the University of Las Palmas, for the creation of the "Perez Galdos Professorship" with the aim of training researchers.
From the 19th of December, 2006, the Perez Galdos Museum House has been extended to an adjacent building by the writer’s family home. The building has been renovated with the idea of being a Centre for Galdós Studies that accommodates the whole documentation of Galdós and the bibliographical collections. There is a new and bigger room for research; spaces for temporary exhibitions; as well as rooms available for activities such as conferences and courses; and some specific installations for the Department of Education and Cultural Action (DEAC). The new building is a necessary move to improve the quality of the services and the cultural offerings that the Perez Galdos Museum House proposes to its visitors.
The Department of Education and Cultural Action programme activitis orientated at divulging information that naturally centre on the figure of Perez Galdos and the age in which he lived. The production of themed guided visits and commentaries, workshops for scholars of any academic level and age; temporary workshops or itineraries; educational kits; materials to support teaching; meetings, conferences, courses and lectures; activities that allow the DEAC to keep the link active between the Perez Galdos Museum House and the public. All the visits are guided, free and start at every hour on the dot. Groups of visitors cannot exceed more than 20 people for conservation and security reasons.
. The library of Perez Galdos – The Casa-Museo Perez Galdos looks after the archives and library of Benito Perez Galdos and is a necessary point of consultation for philologists and historians. 3696 volumes are known to have been the preferred readings of Galdós. In a lot of them he has left his mark in the form of underlined paragraphs, or annotations in the margins.
. Manuscripts and proofs – the manuscripts for his novels and theatrical works, together with the proofs, or evidence of proof reading by Galdós, became an indispensable tool for the study of his works and critiques
. Letters and personal documents – without doubt one of the most important sections that make up the collection are the letters, particularly rich in biographical and literary details about Perez Galdós and his contemporaries.
. Specialized library - the specialized library with a wide documental and bibliographical collection around the figure of Perez Galdós, his life, work and critical studies are at the disposal of the general public and researchers.