Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
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PABLO BELTRÁN DE HEREDIA
Professor emeritus Pablo Beltrán de Heredia y Castaño died in Santander, Spain, on August 21, 2009. He was ninety-two years old.
Professor Beltrán was born on the island of Gran Canaria (Spain) in 1917 and spent his early years in Salamanca, Santander, and Madrid. He studied in the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras at the University of Madrid and also took classes in journalism at the school run by the Spanish Catholic daily newspaper El Debate. (This was the first journalism school established in Spain; it opened in 1926. El Debate ceased publication in 1936.) He spent the period of the Civil War (July 1936 - April 1939) in Santander. Once the conflict was over, he returned to his studies, while at the same time working with the Servicio Militar de Recuperación Artística to recover works of art, especially those belonging to the Prado Museum. From 1942 until 1947 he taught history at the University of Madrid. During this time, he also served as Secretario de Redacción for the Revista de la Universidad de Madrid and Secretario Adjunto for the Revista de Indias. In 1947, he returned to Santander to work with the Universidad Internacional Menéndez y Pelayo.
The following year, Professor Beltrán was a founding member of the Escuela de Altamira, a short-lived project that sought to promote the development of modern art, especially abstract art, in Spain. (Another founder was the late Ricardo Gullón who later became a professor of Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin.) Around the same time, Professor Beltrán began to work with a publishing house that was just establishing itself in Santander. This publishing house, Imprenta Bedia, grew in importance as time went on and published a clandestine edition of Federico García Lorca's Romancero Gitano in 1948.
By the late 1940s (following Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War in 1939), Professor Beltrán had become a strong supporter of the cause of Don Juan de Borbón, the pretender to the Spanish throne and the father of the current king, Juan Carlos I. In the early 1950s, he began to engage in a number of political activities, such as organizing funerals and conferences. By the mid-1960s, political and social pressures led him to leave Spain. In 1966, he came to The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught classes on Spanish literature and civilization until his retirement in 1984. After his retirement, he returned to Spain and played an active role in the cultural life of Santander by organizing exhibitions and symposia. In 1999, he was named an “Adoptive Son of Santander.”
Over the years, Professor Beltrán worked with a number of newspapers and journals, including La Gaceta Regional de Salamanca, Ya, Alerta, El Diario Montañés, Fotos, Boletín de la Biblioteca Menéndez y Pelayo, Revista de la Universidad de Oviedo, Anales Galdosianos, Sin Nombre, Puerto Rico, and Peña Labra. He founded a number of collections, most notably Viento Sur, Colecciones Cantalapiedra, and Clásicos de todos los años. He published editions of poems by Juan Ramón Jiménez, Jorge Guillén, and Angel González; edited writings of Azorín, Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo, and José María Gil Robles; and compiled a bibliography on Vicente Aleixandre. He donated his library and papers to the Universidad de Navarra.<signed>
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Madeline Sutherland-Meier (chair) and Michael Harney.