Twenty-two scholars and non-academics from around the world participated in the successful launch of our online exhibition Exploring the Hispanic-Anglosphere, part of a series of events that took place at the National Trust Tyntesfield last Saturday (23rd June) to continue our conversation with the public, this time by sharing some of the latest findings of our international research project ‘The Hispanic-Anglosphere: transnational networks, global communities (late 18th-20th centuries)’.
Throughout the day, visitors had the chance to take a ‘Hispanic itinerary’ of the neo-gothic Victorian mansion of Tyntesfield (plan available HERE free to download) in many cases discovering that its founder William Gibbs, was born in Madrid and that his family made much of its fortune by trading products from the global Hispanic world through the company Antony Gibbs & Sons. Joining us during all the events was a direct descendant of the founder of that firm and current administrator of The Gibbs Family Tree, Michael (Mike) Gibbs and his wife Juliet (in the photo, counting from the right, third on top row and first in bottom row, respectively)
The Hispanic itinerary and to an extent also the online exhibition served as a pilot experience for an even more ambitious exhibition planned to take place in-situ next year and aimed at drawing wider attention to items in the Tyntesfield collection that most vividly illustrate the presence and activities of the Gibbs’s family in the Hispanic-Anglosphere.
During an open meeting at the Sawmill, Sarah Merriman, General Manager Bristol Portfolio National Trust expressed great satisfaction in the NT’s involvement in the project and the estate’s curator and member of the Hispanic-Anglosphere network Susan Hayward gave an introductory talk about the life and times of William Gibbs. Our project’s Principal Investigator, Dr Graciela Iglesias-Rogers outlined a few milestones achieved by the network since its launch only nine months ago just as a brief prelude to a guided tour of the online exhibition – a tour which benefited from the expert intervention of five of the authors of the panels currently in display, a few who had travelled from as far as Chile, Ireland and Spain to be present in the room and thus ready to provide many additional insights.
Wide-ranging discussions followed late into a sunny, mildly warm afternoon along with some tasting of tortas de aceite hand-made in Seville and the judicious pouring of sangria and cold shots of Manzanilla sherry.