Unbelievable, wonderful hidden gem of a museum. DO NOT miss this place if you have even the tiniest hint of interest in art, textiles, archeology, Spanish or Latin history. My main impetus was to see the Joaquin Bastida y Sorolla murals (an entire room of them) that are permanently on display there. It was a life-changing, religious-like experience, standing in a near-empty room surrounded by the pure artistic virtuosity of Sorolla. Even though the murals are installed high above eye level, I could see the brushwork and imagine Sorolla painting his sail-like canvases on the Iberian coast.
The extensive collection is housed in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building on Audubon Terrace (property once owned by John James Audubon) in a charming neighborhood of Spanish Harlem. All around on the terrace are magnificent turn-of-the-last-century bronzes by Anna Hyatt Huntington, the exceptional female animalier sculptor, who with her husband Archer, started the Hispanic Society in 1904.
You may hear tales that this neighborhood is rough or that cabbies don’t like to drive there (I did). Don’t believe it. Take the subway – there’s a stop just a few blocks from the museum. http://www.hispanicsociety.org/hispanic/society.htmover 5 years ago