Distributed March 3, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Janet Kerlin

Venezuelan ambassador to speak at opening of Bolivar collection

The Venezuelan ambassador to the United States will give an address March 12 to celebrate the unveiling of a collection of manuscripts and memorabilia pertaining to Latin American independence leader Simon Bolivar. The new Bromsen-Bolivar Room at the John Carter Brown Library holds the largest collection of Bolivar manuscripts, engravings, and paintings outside of Latin America.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Venezuelan ambassador to the United States, Alfredo Toro Hardy, will give an address marking the opening of a display of the largest collection of Simon Bolivar manuscripts and memorabilia outside of Latin America.

The public address by Toro Hardy will be given March 12, 2000, at 4 p.m. in Sayles Hall on The College Green at Brown University. The ambassador has been asked to share his knowledge of Bolivar, who was born in Venezuela and liberated six Latin American colonies from Spain.

The collection was given to the John Carter Brown Library by Dr. Maury Bromsen of Boston, a collector and dealer in colonial Spanish American materials for 50 years. Among the highlights of his donated collection are a rare oil portrait of Bolivar from 1823, a collection of 17 engravings, and letters signed by the liberator himself. The collection is on exhibit in the John Carter Brown Library’s Bromsen-Bolivar Room, which is open to the public.

Two other public events are scheduled in connection with the Bromsen-Bolivar Room dedication:

  • A panel presentation, “Democracy in Latin America: Opportunities and Obstacles,” will be held March 12 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. The panel includes former U.S. Rep. John Brademas of Indiana, now chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy and president of the King Juan Carlos I Center at New York University; Heinz Sonntag, professor of sociology, University of Venezuela and visiting professor at Brown’s Center for Latin American Studies; and Thomas Skidmore, Cespedes Professor of Modern Latin American History at Brown. The presentation is sponsored by Brown’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

  • More than a dozen scholars of Latin America will participate in a symposium, “Perspectives on Simon Bolivar,” March 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saunders Inn, Main Lounge, 101 Thayer St., sponsored by the John Carter Brown Library.

The John Carter Brown Library is an independently funded and administered center dedicated to the study of North and South America during the colonial period, 1493 to 1830.