An original setting
The Reina Sofía National Art Centre opened its doors to the public in 1990 with a major collection of Spanish and international art covering the period between the late 19th century to the present day. Two years later Pablo Picasso's Guernica was installed, a key work that plays a fundamental role in the museum's discourse and activities.
Located in an old hospital building dating from the late 18th century by the architect Francesco Sabatini, the growth of its collection created a need for an extension, and 2005 saw the inauguration of a new building designed by Jean Nouvel. The 18,000 items in the museum's collection have in recent years been rearranged to create an itinerary that explores its most distinctive features, such as Surrealism, the pavilion of the 1937 Republic, and Spanish Informalism of the 1950s in an international context. It currently revolves around three major sections: '1900-1945: The irruption of the 20th century. Utopias and conflicts', '1945-1968: is the war over? Art in a divided world', and '1962-1982: From revolt to post-modernity'. The Reina Sofía is also a space for research, experimentation and reflection, and offers a wide programme of temporary exhibitions and public activities.