On February 28th the Museu Picasso organised a seminar entitled The pastel technique: specificities of its conservation and restoration.
This autumn we are carrying out various changes in the works of the Collection both of the paintings as well as the works on paper. Due to questions of preventive conservation it is important to change the works on paper every three months: in this way, and given the fact that we have a very large collection of these works, the rotational system lets us see the various works that Picasso did in this format, at the same time as applying suitable criteria for the conservation of works on paper.
Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d’élephants, by Mathias Enard, was a terrific starting point for a discussion not only of the novel itself (about the mysterious and undocumented journey that Michelangelo made to Istanbul to design a bridge for the Golden Horn that would connect the two halves of the city) but also of other issues more or less related to the text, from the representation of otherness and the conflict between Orientalism and the reality of the East to Picasso and the great artists that in one way or another we read through Michelangelo and his way of thinking and practising total art. The conversation was very interesting and the large turnout participated enthusiastically.
On Sunday 23 October we celebrated the second annual Big Draw Festival of Drawing, an initiative originally launched in London that explores drawing not only as a creative medium but also as a great form of communication, learning and recreation for people of all ages.
The Palazzo Giulia Rosselmini Gualandi, a magnificent Renaissance mansion on the banks of the Arno, is home to the Fondazzione Palazzo Blu, and is hosting the exhibition “Ho voluto essere pittore e sono diventato Picasso” — I Wanted to Be a Painter and I Became Picasso. This is the first ever show of Picasso’s work in the city of Pisa and it runs from 14 October 2011 to 29 January 2012. The major retrospective brings together some two hundred works, including paintings, drawings, ceramics and etchings, and traces Picasso’s output from 1901 to 1970. The show has been organized and coordinated by the Giunti Arte Mostre e Musei cultural council, and was curated by Claudia Beltrami Ceppi.
We have been collaborating with the Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu for two years now, by way of the volunteers department, and we would like to think that the girls and boys with whom we have been involved during this time have benefited in some way from the activities we offer. People tend to respond to the experience of being in hospital in different ways, but it’s important to remember that children are children, and need to have fun, to laugh, play and have a space of their own.
After a project that people have put a lot of hours, energies and hopes into it always takes a little time to put your emotions in place again and look back on the whole thing and evaluate it, and go on from there to plan future on the strength of all that has been learned.
In the case of Big Draw, all of us in the team have been going through this process. And at this very moment of immersion in the assessment, both positive and negative, and the planning of where to go in order to make the project grow — which we are now — we have just received a wonderful letter from Eileen Adams, Director of The Campaign for Drawing, the creators and organizers of this venture in London.
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This Sunday, 24 October, the Museu Picasso will host the first Barcelona celebration of the “BIG DRAW Festival of Drawing”, an initiative that originated in London (and has since spread to a number of cities in the world) that sets out to get us all drawing and enjoying the process as a form of artistic expression and a tool of communication and learning.
I have to confess that I really don’t know how to draw, but very often I can’t explain what I mean other than by doodling with a pencil on paper. And my kids and I play at drawing: it’s a fun way to pass the time and — depending on age — to practice new vocabulary. Or to spark the imagination or capture and retain information, just as lots of adults do in meetings: almost automatic drawings that are also ways of concentrating. Read more »
One of the greatest joys of my professional life was when we learned from the Daily Telegraph of 1 May 1984 about the will of the late Lord Amulree. Basil William Sholto Mackenzie, 2nd Baron Amulree, KBE, FRCP (1900-1983), a leading specialist in geriatrics and chronic illness, President of the Society for the Study of Medial Ethics and Liberal Peer and Whip in the House of Lords from 1955 until 1977, had bequeathed a painting by Matisse to the Tate Gallery, a Monet at the National Gallery of Scotland, a Braque to the Israel Museum in Jersusalem and Picasso’s The Offering to the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. It was the English art historian and collector Douglas Cooper (1915-1985) who informed the Museum of Lord Amulree’s wonderful donation and put us in touch with the executors.
Once the legal and tax details had been dealt with, The Offering was shipped to the Museum and presented on 19 November 1985. We on the staff experienced the usual combination of initial surprise and an almost euphoric gratitude felt by any museum receiving a donation, but magnified in this case by our complete lack of personal knowledge of our generous benefactor, the entirely unexpected nature of the legacy and the importance of the work, because the series of drawings and paintings devoted to the subject of the offering is vital to any understanding of the path that led Picasso to the invention of Cubism. This gouache, small in size but very big in significance, and one of the Museum’s most emblematic works, is a paradigm of how Picasso gathered so much from the past and then dynamited it sky high to create his own language. Read more »