The artistic complex of Maricel was built between 1910 and 1918 by Miquel Utrillo. The building was built for the American Charles Deering who wanted a home to serve all his needs and shelter his artwork. The place used to be a hospital and was converted into a residence. Deering still wasn’t satisfied, so he acquired all the fishermen houses. He wanted his art collection to have the respectful environment they deserved. Due to the renovations, the entire neighborhood’s image was changed. Utrillo got inspiration from Cau Ferrat and Can Llopis, two other buildings that are museums in Sitges.
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The art collection that was first exposed in the house had mostly Hispanic artists as a focus, and some other pieces that Deering acquired in other places. The most important ones from the gothic selection included El Greco, Vicente Lopez, Viladomat and Goya. The modernist pieces were represented by Ramon Casas, Regoyos, Santiago Rusiñol and the modern sculptures by Enric Casanovas and Gustave Violet and many more. After many seasons and becoming Sitges’ “Adoptive Son”, Charles Deering left Sitges in 1921 after disagreements with Utrillo. With that, the art collection was donated partially to the Art Institute of Chicago, and the other part was left under the Deering family’s ownership. Some other pieces were transferred to the castle of Tamarit, which Deering had acquired in 1916. After that, the building was used for many things that weren’t its initial purpose, until the museums board of Sitges rented it to expand the exhibition from Cau Ferrat Museum. In 1954 the complex was sold to the town hall and in 1969 Charles Deering’s former residence to place the art collection donated by Dr. Jesus Perez-Rosales.
Today, the museum shows artwork from the 10th to the 20th century through Dr. Perez-Rosale’s collection and the city’s. The pieces that were owned by Dr. Jesus were never exposed before, and were incorporated with donations from artists’ families. The complex includes the Museum Maricel; Can Rocamora that connects the Maricel and the Cau Ferrat; Palau Maricel, in front of the two other buildings; Biblioteca Popular Santiago Rusiñol, inaugurated in 1936; and the Arxiu Històric de Sitges, on the ground floor.
The Museum Maricel today is situated where Charles Deering used to live. It is made up of more than 3000 pieces from different origins that include Romanesque murals, Gothic paintings, Renaissance carvings, Modernist and Novocentist sculptures, canvas and several pictures and pieces of furniture.