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In 1942, Teresa Amatller Cros (1873-1960), abiding by a clause in the will of her father, Antoni Amatller Costa (1851-1910), which stated that should she die without heirs, the house which had been built by Josep Puig i Cadafalch together with the collections were to be turned into a museum under the guardianship of the Barcelona City Council, created a private non-profit foundation under the name of Fundació Institut Amatller d'Art Hispànic (Amatller Institute of Hispanic Art).


It was Josep Gudiol Ricart (1904-1985), who became the first director of the new entity, who redefined the structure, basing it on the model applied at the Frick Collection and the Frick Art Reference Library in New York. As specified in the statutes of the foundation, its main objectives are the preservation and dissemination of the house and the Amatller Collections and to boost research into the history of Hispanic art.


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