The exhibition reflects on the impact of cinema on Iberian culture and, above all, on the impact that Hollywood actresses had on female audiences in the period 1914-1936.
The Seventh Art is shown as a reflection of society but also as an engine for changing the role of women in Spain in the first third of the twentieth century, troubled years during which the most radical changes in the contemporary history of the country took place in the political, economic, cultural, and social fields. It also represents a time of hope and great progress in various spheres of society, particularly with regard to women's rights.
The exhibition pays a double tribute to actresses and Spanish women of the time, reflecting on their models and idols, and also on their real situation and the political, social, economic, and cultural vicissitudes that marked their way of life.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the cinema was much loved by the inhabitants of many cities in Spain. Among these was, in the 1920s, the young José Romero Sampedro, a passionate visitor to the Coliseo Olimpia cinema on Gran Vía in Granada.
Passionate collector, the boy has amassed a large number of materials and frames with female close-ups to preserve a fragment of magic over time. Today his collection has great value as a testimony of the cinema that was watched in Spain at that time, mostly Hollywood films.
In the first third of the twentieth century, in the context of a profound change in the socio-economic structures in the West, the development of women as spectators and consumers made it necessary to create a commercial and advertising fabric directly aimed at this new audience thus provoking an incipient model of consumption that aimed for a more independent and active woman. This process occurred more markedly in cities, creating a wide gap between the rural and urban worlds, as well as between women in privileged neighbourhoods and those in working-class neighbourhoods within cities. In this context of social and demographic evolution, during the first decades of the twentieth century, prominent women burst into Spanish public life reflecting a break with the traditional role: from the field of politics (Clara Campoamor, Victoria Kent) to the performing arts (María Guerrero, Margarita Xirgú), in painting (Maruja Mallo) or in intellectual circles (Zenobia Camprubí, María Zambrano, Carmen de Burgos, María de Maeztu).