The Museo Picasso retraces its origins in celebration of its 50th anniversary

An initial exhibition will commemorate 50 years of the emblematic museum located in the Ribera district


The Museu Picasso, the world’s first monographic museum dedicated to the artist, first opened its doors on the 9th of March, 1963. To celebrate this anniversary the museum has organised a year-long programme that includes three documentary-style exhibitions as well as a variety of conferences, ad hoc concerts and round table discussions.
The first of these exhibitions is titled El Museu Picasso, 50 anys a Barcelona. El Orígens and a special, inaugural open day will be held on the day of the 50th anniversary, Saturday the 9th of March, from 10am to 8pm, in which the permanent collection will be presented by museum personnel from a variety of fields. These sessions will take place from 11am to 1.20pm and from 5pm to 7.20pm and entrance is free, though limited in number.
This initial exhibition relating to the genesis of the museum will end on the 9th of June. The second exhibition, relating to 50 years of the permanent collection, can be seen from the 4th of July until the 20th of October and will demonstrate the progressive commitment and participation of the city’s inhabitants to the reality of the centre. While the major donors have always been Picasso himself, up until his death in 1973, and his family, many other figures have contributed to the continuity and excellence of the museum. The last of the three exhibitions, relating to 50 years of temporary exhibitions, can be seen from the 14th of November to the 16 of February, 2014.
The link between Picasso and Barcelona is not one that was born out of mere chance, but stemmed from the artist’s personal love of the city. Though born in Malaga, he moved to Barcelona with his family in 1895 and lived up until 1904 in the Ribera district, one of the most significant historical and cultural centres of the city. While he later settled in France, he continued to make regular visits to the city, preserving and nurturing the friendships he had established with a number of artists and colleagues.
Inauguration of the Museu Picasso was only possible with the cooperation of a number of individuals. Even at the height of the Franco regime the Barcelona City Council was discrete enough to be able to make the artist’s dream come true, and thanks to the invaluable collaboration of his personal secretary and good friend Jaume Sabartés, among others, the proposal was approved by Josep Maria de Porcioles, the city’s mayor at the time, and Raimon Noguera, an influential notary public. The alliances were sealed in 1960 by municipal agreement and the Museu Pablo Ruiz Picasso was founded. Two years of refurbishment of the Palacio Berenguer de Aguilar were required, under the supervision of Picasso himself, then resident in Paris, so that, on the 9th of March, 1963, with a collection of works donated by Jaume Sabartés, the museum was officially opened.
Since then, under the supervision of a number of figures, including the current director Bernardo Laniado-Romero, the Museo Picasso has helped to convert Barcelona into a worldwide cultural reference of the first order.


Publication date: Wednesday, 06 March 2013
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