During 2013 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona on March 9th 1963. From 2014 onwards, and in homage to its founder Jaume Sabartés, we are starting a cycle of annual master conferences based around the work of Picasso.
Picasso and Sabartés s/d. Source Jaume Sabartés. Museu Picasso, Barcelona Photograph: Jacqueline Picasso
Throughout last year we organised other activities and exhibitions to commemorate the 50th anniversary, a celebration we wanted above all to be based around knowledge, the collection and the review of the activity of the museum. As follows we make a review of the 10 most relevant occasions:
· 1 festivity: On March 9th 2013, we held an open doors day to commemorate the anniversary of the opening!
· 54 presentations: The total of presentations of the works that the staff of the museum gave during the open doors day. Various people from different departments shared their knowledge and their passion for the works of the collection with the public.
· 1 donation: Of photographs of Picasso that the war photojournalist David Douglas Duncan took during the years of friendship he maintained with the artist. In the fiftieth anniversary of the museum, Duncan wanted to pay tribute to his friend and donated 161 of these photographs.
David Douglas Duncan. Picasso signing his works, 1960. 50 x 60 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Donation. David Douglas Duncan, 2013 © David Douglas Duncan 2013
· 3 exhibitions: A cycle of three temporary exhibitions were organized to explore and communicate the creation and evolution of the museum over these 50 years. The pillars of these exhibitions were “The Origins” of the museum, the formation of “The Collection” and “The Exhibitions” produced by the museum during this time.
· 3 books. In the Reading Club of the museum we dedicated three sessions to talk about books related to the 50th anniversary. In February we talked about the book by Agustí Pons The notary Raimon Noguera and the legacy of Picasso, Miró and Pau Casals presented by Claustre Rafart. In March, about the novel by Juan Marsé Lizard Tails, which had as its scenario the Barcelona of the late 50s and early 60s, and in April we talked with Malén Gual, about the Textos españoles: 1894-1968, by Pablo Picasso himself, so we had the artist and his writings as the main character of the session..
· 4 testimonials: We asked people directly related with the creation and formation of the museum to explain their experiences. The result were the testimonials of Joan Gaspar, Assumpta Escudero, Claustre Rafart and Lluís Permanyer (and the corresponding family albums) published in the blog during this year.
Gaspar Family, Jaume Sabartés and Catherine Hutin in the home of the Putxet. s/d. Documentary collection of the Museu Picasso, Barcelona | Visit of Jacqueline Picasso, with Joan Ainaud de Lasarte. 1982. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Photograph: unknown
· 11 activities: To celebrate the anniversary and to make known the most unknown aspects of the history of the museum, a number of activities were organised: 4 guided visits “Jaume Sabartés”, 1 roundtable about “Picasso in the Barcelona of the 60s”, 4 concerts “Evenings in the museum”, 3 guided visits “The creation of the museum, a history of friendship“.
· 10 articles: To celebrate the anniversary, we have also created a line of blog posts on the 50th anniversary including exhibitions, events, testimonials, anecdotes, photographs and more under the tag “50th anniversary“.
· 58 Meninas (and Doves): The number of interpretations of the work of Velázquez that Picasso painted in 1957 and donated to the museum in 1968 in memory of Sabartés. Lluís Permanyer narrated the arrival of the pieces in an article for the blog. You can currently see the whole of the series on the galleries 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the museum.
Las Meninas. Pablo Picasso 1957. Oil on canvas. 194 x 260 cm. MPB 70.433 | Las Meninas (Isabel de Velasco). Pablo Picasso, 17/11/1957. Oil on canvas. 24 x 19 cm. MPB 70.484
· 79 exhibitions. From the first exhibition in 1971 until 2013 the museum has held a total of 79 temporary exhibitions. In the third and last exhibition “The Museu Picasso, 50 years in Barcelona. The Exhibitions” (extended until May 27th!) we look back over all of them.
Exhibition gallery “The Museu Picasso, 50 years in Barcelona. The exhibitions.” Photograph: Josep Maria Llobet
· 3,627 participants: The approximate number who have participated in the 50th anniversary duringthe open doors day.
We hope that the next 50 years will also be full of challenges, exhibitions and activities!
Written by the museum