One of the most original collections in Europe, Nins, is formed by more than 150 portraits of children from the 16th to the 19th centuries from different European countries. After the initial contribution of the founders and with the help of others, the Foundation has been able to gather an important collection of artworks. The core of the Museum is the Nins collection, which began more than 40 years ago with a picture by Majorcan painter Joan Mestre i Bosch (1826-1893) Portrait of a Girl with cherries. These works are located in a former underground water reservoir converted into an exhibition space with minimum intervention and conditioned to house and conserve the paintings.
Internationally admired theater and opera director Robert Carsen who has designed major museum exhibitions in Paris: at the Musée d'Orsay, le Grand Palais, the Musée Galliera and the École des Beaux-Arts, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago (including a major exhibition about Magritte), and the Royal Academy in London, has now created the installation design for the our exhibition Nins in the Aljibe space in msbb and has staged the works on walls painted in different shades of red, ranging from pink to dark crimson. In the last room the central figure is the portrait of Anna of Austria as a child, later Queen of France. The whole exhibition evolves around that theme and it is a unique opportunity to contemplate this dynastic alliances between the Houses of Habsburg and Bourbon.
Most of the works represent members of European royalty or aristocracy during their childhood, although there are also some pictures from small provincial courts and of the bourgeoisie. The collection allows us to follow the evolution of fashion, accessories, toys and other items that were part of the daily life of the small sitters. Some of the works were commissioned to be sent to various European courts in view of a marriage, so they are part of a complex scheme of family and political alliances, aimed at ensuring the continuity of the main European dynasties, through commitment and marriage.
This exhibition is unique in Majorca.
Titles of the following images are, from top to bottom and left to right (details):
-Portrait of Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), c. 1616, Frans Pourbus The Younger (1569/70-1622), Flemish School, School (Inv No. 44)
-Portrait of Thomas Plumer Byde (1722-1789) and his brother John, Enoch Seeman (c. 1694-1745), English School, (Inv No. 669)
-Portrait of a Girl wearing a Black Dress and a White Ruff, c. 1625, Dutch School, (Inv No.441)
-Portrait of a Girl presumed to be of the Poulett Family, c. 1630/35, English School, (Inv No. 2)
-Portrait of a Boy aged 8, 1606, Gortzius Geldorp (1533-1616), Flemish School (Inv. No. 395)
-Portrait of Louis XIII of France (1601-1643), 1610, Frans Pourbus The Younger (1569/70-1622), Flemish School (Inv No. 511)
-Portrait of a Girl with a White bonnet, c. 1595, circle of Pieter Pourbus (1523-1584), Flemish School, (Inv No. 681)
-Portrait of a Little Girl with Cherries, c. 1846/8, Juan Mestre y Bosch (1826-1893, Majorcan School, (Inv No. 28)
The foundation has a program for lending works in the collection to other museums and up to now has lent a selection of the collection to the following exhibitions:
-Nins, del Rei Nin al Nin Rei, Centre Cultural de la Misericòrdia, Consell Insular de Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca, 27 February – 25 March 1991.
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Torre dels Enagistes, Manacor, 14 October – 5 November 1995
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Centre Cultural, Felanitx, 23 December 1995 – 14 January 1996
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Sa Quartera, Inca, 2 – 25 February 1996
-Nins. La Història dels més petits, Centre Cultural “Sa Nostra”, Sa Pobla, 3 – 25 April 1996.
-Nins. Retratos de niños de los siglos XVI-XIX, Museo de Bellas Artes, Valencia, 22 June - 3 September 2000.
-Nins. Retratos de niños de los siglos XVI-XIX, Centro Cultural la Mercè, Burriana, 6 October - 12 November 2000.
-Nins. Retratos de crianças dos séculos XVI ao XIX, Fundaçao Armando Alvares Penteado, Museu d’Arte Brasileira, Sao Paulo, 18 October - 5 December 2000 (40 pictures).
-Kleine Prinzen, Kinderbildnisse vom 16. bis 19. Jahrhundert aus der Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober, Kunst- und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, 3 October 2003 - 4 January 2004.
-Principiños. Retratos de nenos dos séculos XIV ao XIX Colección da Fundación Yannick y Ben Jakober, Xunta de Galicia, Museo de Belas Artes da Coruña, A Coruña, 18 February - 16 May 2004.
-Golden Children. Four Centuries of European Portraits from the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee, 24 September 2004 - 2 January 2005.
-Golden Children, State Historical Museum, Moscow, 15 December 2005 - 2 April 2006.
-Great Expectations. Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, 15 February - 8 June 2008.
-Great Expectations. Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama, 7 November 2008 - 2 January 2009.
-Great Expectations. Aristocratic Children in European Portraiture, The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida, 23 January - 1 March 2009.
-Facing Destiny: Children in European Portraiture (1500-1900), Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, 29 March- 25 May 2009.
-Von Engeln & Bengeln: 400 Jahre Kinder im Porträts, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria, 6 March – 3 July 2011
-Golden Children. 16th -19th Century European Portraits, Pera Museum, Istambul, 12 October 2012 – 6 January 2013.
-Príncipes y Granujas, Cultural Cordón, Caja de Burgos Obra Social, Burgos, 12 February – 28 April 2013.