I’ve always liked books with pictures. When I was little I spent a lot of afternoons on the sofa leafing through one of the few books with photographs that we had at home. Years later I worked as editor on a collection of history books, which were also illustrated, and I remember my boss at the time saying that the combinations of images should speak for themselves.
When I started working at the Museu Picasso, six years ago, I was thrilled with the idea of being involved in producing the catalogues that accompany the temporary exhibitions. But I also had a very particular aspiration, the origin of which goes back to 1984.
Imagine you’re browsing among the art catalogues in a bookshop, without looking for anything in particular. The first thing that strikes you about all of the books there — from a distance, even before you can read the titles — is the colourful covers. Reproductions of famous paintings, intriguing details, familiar styles, indecipherable typefaces… you stroll over to a table next to the shelves and pick up a catalogue. Could you say just what it was that attracted you to it? What made you go for this one rather than some other? If the cover had been different, would have you have looked inside it anyway? And when you did open it, was the interest that the cover aroused in you confirmed by the contents, or were you disappointed?
We tend to think that in the case of an art catalogue, like any other book, the cover is the bait dangled in front of the reader, the siren song we hope will entrance you. Choosing one design over another is not simply a matter of taste. The decision is made according to what we want to say to you, what part of the content we want to focus on, what we believe will attract your attention. Read more »
Before I started working at the Museum I knew next to nothing about Picasso. The one thing that really stuck in my memory was something my father told me when I was a little girl: as a boy, the great painter constantly filled the margins of his books with drawings! That and the fact that in 1906 he had stayed in Gósol, the village where my mother was born.
Of all the things I have had the good fortune to learn as head of Publications at the Museum, one of the most enjoyable has been the discovery of the places around the city with Picasso connections. I owe this in large part to the re-edition of the Guide to Picasso’s Barcelona that Josep Maria Carandell wrote to commemorate the centenary of the artist’s birth.