The Museu Picasso will be fifty years old. On this occasion we will publish in our blog a series of articles that commemorate this event and that get the museum’s trajectory closer to the citizens. There were many people who worked together and fought hard to make the dream come true of opening a museum dedicated to the artist in Barcelona, the city with which Picasso felt closely tied. And there are also many anecdotes which built up this story. Through these people and the anecdotes, we would like to narrate our history.
We start this series talking about one of the key figures in the formation process of the Museum: Jaume Sabartés (Barcelona, 1881 – Paris, 1968), personal secretary and great friend and confidant of Picasso.
With Bernardo Laniado-Romero at the front, a new period starts for the museum, with a lot of enthusiasm both from the new director and from the team of the museum. In his presentation of the new 2012-2013 season, he outlined the following lines of action:
The putting together of “Picasso 1936. Traces of an Exhibition” was a very special challenge. There we were, an art museum, proposing a show containing no original work of any kind: in the words of the curator of this radical venture, Sílvia Domènech, it was a question of creating an exhibition of documents rather than with documents, in order to conceptualize the significance of the Picasso Exhibition held in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao in 1936 through analysis of the archives.
On the 7th and 8th of October I attended as a representative of the Museu Picasso at the two lectures by Carles Mitjà, a professor at the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), spoke at the Working Sessions on the control of image quality at the Sonimag photo & multimedia fair. I am still asking myself how I, with my very limited knowledge of the digital image, came to be taking part in a speech full of algorithms on digital image quality… This is, then, a story of collaboration and mutual enrichment.
When I joined at the Museu Picasso just over a year ago the Director expressed his very real concern about the issue of ‘photography’ in the Museum. Despite my background of 14 years working in the Arxiu Fotogràfic de Barcelona, I remember insisting that I could introduce some degree of order and establish organizational and conceptual criteria, but that what was needed in the twenty-first century was digital images, about which I knew very little. I realized that the Director and I saw eye to eye on this, both of us aware of the importance of the issue for the proper functioning of the Museum, but we were also aware of the magnitude of the tragedy. So with this in mind I set to work.