Barcelona’s Picasso Museum celebrates 50th anniversary of painter’s donation

“It’s been 50 years since he gifted all the artworks that had remained in the house where his sister and mother lived on Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona: more than 1,400 pieces. It was a gesture of huge generosity towards the city he loved. This museum is one of Picasso’s creations,” Emmanuel Guigon, director of Barcelona’s Picasso Museum, said.

Barcelona’s Picasso Museum did not let the coronavirus pandemic stop it from celebrating the 50th anniversary of the painter’s donation of over a thousand works from his youth to the city in 1970. Between May 20 and Sept. 26, the museum will host an exhibition entitled “Picasso and Artist’s Jewellery.”

“It’s been 50 years since he gifted all the artworks that had remained in the house where his sister and mother lived on Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona: more than 1,400 pieces. It was a gesture of huge generosity towards the city he loved. This museum is one of Picasso’s creations,” Emmanuel Guigon, director of Barcelona’s Picasso Museum, said.

“This is a magnificent year, as it reveals the love and vital adoration that Pablo Picasso had for his adopted city of Barcelona,” said Guigon, pointing out that although the pandemic has forced the rescheduling of several events, the museum remained determined to go ahead with the celebration.

The exhibition features many of the donated artworks, which date from Picasso’s early years and which trace back his roots in Barcelona and his hometown of Malaga. Future exhibitions will also explore his early works.

“In the autumn, we’ll organize an exhibition about his sister, who was his main model at the end of the 19th century and the person who looked after the art treasures he left behind when he left Barcelona in 1904,” said the director.

Between December 2020 and April 2021, the Picasso Museum already exhibited 17 sketchbooks that were part of the painter’s donation.

Following a few months of the pandemic shutdown, the museum reopened in June 2020 and has hosted exhibitions and events despite the absence of foreign tourists.

In a “normal” year, the Picasso Museum attracts a million visitors, but the pandemic has reduced their number by 89 percent. Now that the pandemic is easing, the museum is preparing for the “new normal” as it plans to keep the 50th-anniversary exhibition open for the rest of this year.

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