CELA Center

A center for literature and art in Almonacid de Zorita. Welcome to the museum that combines writings and art works from the life of Camilo José Cela.

By Diputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Diputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Map for the Centro CeLA (1916) by Fernando Toquero y Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The CELA Center is in the beautiful village of Almonacid de Zorita in the Alcarria, less than an hour from Madrid.

Journey to the Alcarria. Text for Centro CeLA (1948) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The book "Journey to the Alcarria" is a masterpiece of travel writing. The phrase "You can make out Almonacid de Zorita, the village where the poet León Felipe worked as a pharmacist over a quarter of a century ago" puts this town at the heart of cultural life in the early 20th century.

Almonacid de Zorita (2018) by Javier BravoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Just a few miles from Zorita de los Canes, where Cela's journey to the Alcarria ended, we come to Almonacid de Zorita. The village is surrounded by vegetation typical of the region, with an abundance of aromatic plants—an ideal place to contemplate art.

Centro CeLA´s building (2019) by Laura DomínguezDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

It is in this town where the CeLA Center is located, in the old hermitage Virgen de la Luz, from 1588.

In the 19th century, it ceased to be related to the cult and, starting in 1882, it was assigned to an oil mill with state-of-the-art industrial machinery.

In 2010 the property was acquired by the City Council of the locality that, in 2019, has decided to dedicate it to art, installing in its interior part of the funds of the Charo Foundation and Camilo José Cela in coordination with the Diputación de Guadalajara.

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Rosario ToledanoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The CELA Center for literature and art is a museum initiative organized by the local government in Almonacid de Zorita, in collaboration with Guadalajara Provincial Council and the Charo and Camilo José Cela Foundation.

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Its mission is to document and showcase the relationship between literature and the visual arts in the life and work of writer and Nobel Prize winner Camilo José Cela, with the invaluable collaboration of his wife, Rosario Conde.

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The space is structured in three successive sections.

Section 1: Recreation of Cela's office.
Section 2: Literature and art through the Papers of Son Armadans.
Section 3: The homage of plastic artists to the figure of Camilo José Cela.

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

1 / Recreation of Cela's office

The CeLA Center has recreated the space of the work of the genius of literature Camilo José Cela in his house of the Bonanova It's about the visual perspective that he could contemplate sitting on his writing table and a part of the paintings and books that surrounded him. One of the first buildings that dared to combine materials vulgar and noble.

Medieval board, Calvary (XIV century) by UnknownDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

We are facing some of the works that Camilo José Cela contemplated in his office, tables of linear Gothic from the beginning of the 14th century. Its value lies in the fact that there are few other examples of this type of painting, those of the Cathedral of Valencia, the Church of the Blood of Líria and some private.

Medieval board, Martyrdom (XIV century) by UnknownDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

In this table entitled "Calvario", by an anonymous author, we contemplate Christ on the Cross and two companions, an angel musician and a woman with hands raised, both in front of architectures

Untitled (1946) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

2 / The Papers of Son Armadans: Cela as painter

Papeles de Son Armadans is a magazine created in Mallorca by Camilo José Cela in 1956. It was an international reference of Spanish literature of its time, including, for the first time since the Civil War, collaborators and intellectuals in exile. In it Cela participated as a painter because from the very beginning of his career, he combined writing and graphic work.

María Sabina (1975) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

In 1947, a year after writing " Journey to the Alcarria," he returned to his first vocation, presenting a collection of his canvases at the Clan gallery in Madrid.

Untitled (1958) by Pablo PicassoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

2. Papeles de Son Armadans: Combining Literature and Art

"Papeles de Son Armadans" paid homage to the most prominent plastic artists of the first half of the 20th century. With editorials signed by Camilo José Cela, each tribute issue recognized and analyzed avant-garde works, which resonated widely throughout Spain thanks to the magazine's initiative, drawing an unusual correlation between literature and art.

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Untitled (1958) by Pablo PicassoDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

This piece comes from a set of crayon drawings dedicated to Camilo José Cela and his family between 1957 and 1961 by Picasso himself.

Son Armadans papers (From 1956) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

In this series of often schematic and powerfully evocative portraits, Picasso demonstrates his ability to achieve maximum visual impact.

Son Armadans papers (From 1956) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Magazine dedicated to J. Solana in the spirit that permeated every issue of the "Papeles de Son Armadans"—that of bringing together literature and art.

Son Armadans papers (From 1956) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

The issue on the "El Paso" artists' collective was dedicated to all of the group's members: Canogar, Millares, Tàpies, Saura, Viola, and Miró.

Son Armadans papers (From 1956) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Another issue of Camilo José Cela's famous magazine "Papeles de Son Armadans" was dedicated to Miró.

Son Armadans papers (From 1956) by Camilo José CelaDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Portrait of Camilo José Cela (1964) by John UlbrichtDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

3. Visual artists pay tribute to Camilo José Cela

In return for Camilo José and Charo's support for artists of the period, many of them offered to depict the couple in portraits and sculptures. This exhibition covers a significant part of the artistic panorama of the second half of the 20th century, putting Majorcan painters front and center.

Centro CeLA´s building inside main room (2019) by Nacho AbascalDiputación Provincial de Guadalajara

Credits: Story

Coordinators: Aurora Batanero, Mario G. Somoano, and Marcelino Ayuso (Department of Press and Tourism, Guadalajara Provincial Council)

Project producer: Guadalajara Provincial Council

Electronic edition: Laura Domínguez and Fernando Toquero

Photographs: Nacho Abascal

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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