We are pleased to share with you some excerpts from an article by Francesc Pujols, ‘The Rooftops of Barcelona’, first published in “La Publicidad” on 18 June 1920. Though written a few years after Picasso’s time in Barcelona, when he painted a number of pictures with the city’s rooftops as their theme, the writer seems to be describing some of the works in our collection. We are thankful to the poet Enric Casassess for sending us the article, which came to his mind as he was walking round the Museu Picasso.
‘Can we see Picasso’s Mona Lisa?’ ‘Don’t you have any colour postcards of Guernica?’ Unlikely as they may seem, these are some of the odd questions and curious situations that confront the Museum staff from time to time. In its almost 50 years of existence the Museu Picasso has built up a rich stock of good stories — often funny, sometimes surprising and on occasion touching. Here are some of the anecdotes that have become abiding favourites among the Museum’s gallery staff.
With the arrival of summer, Barcelonians have more free time and many visitors arrive in the city hoping to have a good time and take advantage of its large cultural offering. The fact that the Museu Picasso is one of the main points of interest in this offering demonstrates that Picasso’s work is of international interest and that the legacy he left to the city of Barcelona continues to be enjoyed by the public. Read more »
It is well-known that, for the public, security is an unknown and restricted topic. However, as part of the major aim of the Picasso Museum to get close to you, of integrating an online community, we would like to give you the chance of taking a look at everything that is not accessible to the public in general, and therefore to show you how we combine the protection of both art and people in the museum.
A different conception: in search of proximity. Firstly, it should be said that in recent years a change has taken place in terms of the behaviour of the figure of the security guard, in the sense that he or she doesn’t have the exclusive role of carrying out surveillance, but also that of attending the various needs of the public, be it for information or to receive help.
Adapting ourselves to the latest technology: watching from the heart of the museum. Thanks to the commitment of the director and management around 5 months ago, we started up the new Coordination Centre (CECOR), both for security as well as for emergencies. It currently represents one of the most modern centres from among the cultural centres of the country, thanks to the incorporation of the latest technologies of the market. A migration has been undertaken of all the old systems to an IP system (Internet Protocol), and as such everything is now digitalised.
We are all more or less familiar with the French terms marchand and marché de l’art, used to refer to the dealer and his or her relationship with an artist for the promotion and sale of their work, but thanks to the influence of the English word ‘merchandising‘ the term has taken on a new meaning. Our colleagues in the Museu Picasso shop a are good example of this.
More than 330 m2 devoted to art, to Picasso and to the city of Barcelona make up this particular Picassian universe. There is a wide variety of items on sale here, with something for all tastes and all budgets. Marta, Raquel and Manel, who run the Museum shop, and welcome us inside, are real specialists: they visit trade fairs, they explore the shops at other leading museums around the world and, above all, they are experts in the art of merchandising.
With close to million visitors a year, open to the public 10 hours a day, six days a week, plus evening activities, like all good museums the world over the Museu Picasso has a great team working in what tends to be known as ‘visitor services’.
The fact is that a million visitors a year isn’t all that much compared with the more than eight million who visit the Louvre, but our museum has something of a handicap in terms of its physical structure of five medieval palaces, connected to one another. A wonderfully rich historical heritage and an excellent example of secular Catalan Gothic architecture, with some wonderful details, the place is a bit of a maze, and it isn’t easy to guarantee a smoothly flowing itinerary.