I saw it: The invented Realities of Goya's Disasters of War


In 1985, Grinnell College received a sixth edition of Francisco de Goya’s Disasters of War, printed in 1930, through a generous donation by Helena Percas de Ponseti, Professor Emerita of Spanish and her husband, Dr. Ignacio V. Ponseti. These prints are the subject of this year’s art exhibition seminar, in which students are offered a unique opportunity to curate an exhibition in the Faulconer Gallery and write an accompanying exhibition catalogue. Over the course of the spring semester, we have come a long way in our understanding of Goya’s Disasters of War. We began by simply looking.  After familiarizing ourselves with the works, we were able to begin a process of intensive research and discussion on Goya and his times, with particular attention to the Disasters of War prints.

            The idea of witnessing was one that recurred in both the readings and our class discussions.  This concept is rich in meaning and implication, and, as such, we decided on it as a theme to frame our exhibition.  Bringing the exhibition to fruition was a lengthy, rigorous process that demanded the cooperation, focus, and dedication of everyone involved. Now, our efforts having finally taken shape, we present you our catalogue.

—Annaliese Beaman & Roxanne Young

Last Updated: September 2, 2004