Please join us in welcoming one of our new graduate students Eneko Tuduri, who tells us about his interest in Basque Studies, and his first experiences at the CBS, in Reno and the USA. Ongi etorri Eneko!

“I grew up in Donosti, although I was born in Donibane Lohizune in the French Basque Country. I studied Art History for my Bachelor’s degree, and earned a degree in Digital Photography in Gasteiz. After that, with the Global Training program of the Basque Government, I did an 8-month internship in the Basque Museum and Cultural Center of Boise, Idaho. There I worked on the project of Basque Musicians in the West, and the Basque Radio programs broadcasted for sheepherders. Before that, I had already focused my interest on the world of museums, and I completed another internship in the San Telmo museum. After Boise, I studied for a Master’s degree in Museum Studies at the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid. Last year I curated an exhibition on Carlism and cinema. I also worked as a tourist guide in San Sebastian for several years.When I was finishing my Art History degree, I wrote my senior thesis about 14th-century Gothic paintings in a church building in San Salvador de Gallipienzo in Navarre. The paintings were very fragmented and damaged, but they captured me and, ever since, I’ve tried to understand what they might have looked like originally. What I found is that many other similar Navarrese paintings of the same period from the 13th to the 15th century were barely studied. I realized that this research topic could be a very good one for a Ph.D study program. I find the Medieval period in the Basque Country fascinating.

Paintings of San Zoilo de Caseda, Navarre, recently restored with the funding of a local historic association (Asociación cultural ermita de San Zoilo). Dated by style to the middle of the 14th century.

The freedom the tutorial Ph.D of the CBS can give me was very attractive, and it is not something I can find easily at European universities. Also, with the collection of the CBS library and the resources of the UNR library, it is not necessary to be in the Basque Country to do the bibliographical research. I will focus on those paintings that remained under-studied or barely researched.  These paintings are mostly in rural areas and small villages, they are barely known and difficult to access. Some of these paintings are in danger of disappearing. I would like to have an overall understanding of the wall painting art of XIII, XIV and XV century Navarre. This was the most common decoration in most European kingdoms, but sadly, we do not know much about Navarrese masters and workshops. It is obvious they were distinctively Navarrese painters and workshops with their own style, but their importance has been overshadowed by international styles and painters.

I had already lived in the USA for almost a year with the Basque community of Boise. However, Reno was a totally different city than Boise, which has its own positives and negatives. One of the best things are the University, which i find amazing. I have only spent three weeks here, but I feel I will need much more time to discover all the activities the University has to offer.

The apse of San Juan Bautista de Eristain, Navarre from the 13th or 14th centuries.