De Young Museum, San Francisco
March 26 – July 4, 2011
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco
+1 415 750 3600

Balenciaga and Spain examines the profound and enduring influence of Spain on the work of haute couture master Cristóbal Balenciaga. The impact of Spanish culture, history, and traditions is explored through the recurring themes in Balenciaga’s oeuvre and organized in the exhibition in six sections: Spanish Art, Regional Dress, the Spanish Court, Religious Life and Ceremony, the Bullfight, and Dance. Hamish Bowles, the European editor at large for Vogue, is the show’s curator. Objects are drawn from museum and private collections in France, Spain, and the United States, including the FAMSF collection.

As legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland vividly described him, “Balenciaga was the true son of a strong country filled with style, vibrant color, and a fine history,” who “remained forever a Spaniard… His inspiration came from the bullrings, the flamenco dancers, the fishermen in their boots and loose blouses, the glories of the church, and the cool of the cloisters and monasteries. He took their colors, their cuts, then festooned them to his own taste.” Curator Hamish Bowles notes, “Balenciaga’s ceaseless explorations and innovations ensured that his work was as intriguing and influential in his final collection as it had been in his first.”