Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Barcelona City Council

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  • 1919

    First donation from Picasso to the city of Barcelona, Harlequin, 1917.

  • 1932

    Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat (Catalan Government) buy the Plandiura Collection containing 22 Picassos.

  • 1960

    Jaume Sabartés, Picasso’s friend and personal secretary, proposes the creation of a museum dedicated to the artist’s work to Barcelona City Council on behalf of Picasso himself. In agreement with the City Council, the Museu Picasso in Barcelona is founded on July 27th.

  • 1963, March 9th

    The Museu Picasso in Barcelona opens under the name of the Sabartés Collection, with Picasso’s opposition to the Franco regime making it impossible to open a museum bearing his name. The collection is made up of Sabartés’s personal collection and the Picasso works from the Barcelona Art Museums (basically, Harlequin, the Plandiura Collection, the drawings bequeathed by collector Lluís Garriga i Roig, the series of prints for The Metamorphoses of Ovid and other lithographs and posters).

    The Sabartés Collection is held in the palau Aguilar, located at 15 Carrer de Montcada which was purchased by the City Council in 1953.

    Asked by Brassaï about whether Picasso would return to Spain for the opening of the Barcelona museum, Sabartés replied that, as is known, Picasso swore he would not set foot there during the Franco regime 'but he was totally in agreement with the museum. It had, at the end of the day, excited him, supervising the plans and design closely.' (Brassaï. Conversations avec Picasso (1964). Paris, Gallimard, p. 371.)

  • 1963

    Salvador Dalí donates the illustrated book Les Metamorphoses d’Ovide containing 30 Picasso etchings from 1931 (MPB 70.945 to 70.974) and Gala donates a 1913 collage – the only cubist collage at the museum (MPB 70.801).

  • MPB 70.433 MPB 70.459 MPB 70.450

    Collector Sebastià Junyer Vidal [photo Guia BcnPicasso] donates 7 of Picasso’s drawings from between 1899 and 1904 (MPB 70.803 to 70.809)

  • 1968

    Jaume Sabartés dies. In homage to his dead friend, Picasso donates the Blue Portrait of Sabartés (1901) and the 58 canvases making up the Meninas series (1957). In addition, Picasso agrees to donate a print of all those dedicated to his friend in the future to the museum.

  • 1970

    The Museu Picasso is extended. The palau del Baró de Castellet (Montcada, 17) is added. Picasso gives the entire large collection his family held in Barcelona (mother, sister and nephews). The collection (921 works) is made up of oil paintings and drawings from his childhood and youth era.

    This is how notary Noguera described it: ‘On 8th May 1970 the donation to the city of Barcelona was formally accepted in public deed which, as a notary public, I had the honour of authorising with the city representatives receiving the works from the Vilatós, who, until that moment, had had them. The extraordinary artistic value of the works donated by Picasso thus singularly increased from a historical and human point of view', later going on to state, 'the donations to the museum which both (Picasso and Sabartés) wanted to create have become a permanent monument to their friendship and an unquestionable testimony to their love for Barcelona'. (Raimón Noguera, 'El amor a Barcelona', Destino, 2224, May 1980).

  • 1982

    Jacqueline Roque, the artist’s widow, donates 41 ceramic pieces to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. The photographer Roberto Otero donates 80 photographs of Picasso and his milieu – a graphic collection of the last years of the artist’s life.

  • 1983

    | The heirs and the Louise Leiris Gallery donate 117 of the artist’s prints. The Picasso-Reventós Foundation gives the museum The Dead Woman (1903).

  • 1984

    Acquisition of 12 lithographs from 1949 (MPB 112.709 to 112.720)

  • MPB 112.761 MPB 112.943

    Jacqueline Roque donates Woman with Bonnet (1901). Lord Amulree bequeaths The Offering(1908). Notary Public Raimón Noguera donates 5 drawings from 1970 (MPB 112.762 to 112.766) and 9 prints from 1957 (MPB 112.768 to 112.775). The museum is extended again with the addition of the palau Meca (Montcada, 19).

  • 1987

    Pablo Vilató Ruiz (the artist’s nephew) donates two canvases from the Avignon period: Head of A Woman (1970, MPB 112.866) and Seated Man (1969).

  • 1991

    The Ministry of Culture transfers the work Roofs of Barcelona (1903).

  • 1993

    Acquisition of the illustrated book Saint Matorel by Max Jacob (1911) with four original Picasso etchings (MPB 112.998).

  • 1998

    Acquisition of the drawing Portrait of Jacqueline with Ribbon (1963, MPB 113.028)

  • MPB 113.035

    The museum is newly extended with the addition of la casa Mauri and the palau Finestres (Montcada, 21 and 23). The museum gives over new refurbished spaces to temporary exhibitions.

  • 2000

    Acquisition of the bronze sculpture Woman’s Head (Fernande) and Catalan Sketchbook, a sketchbook from Gósol in 1906 (MPB 113.039).

  • 2003

    Remodelling of interior spaces for the permanent exhibition.

  • MPB 113.113

    Acquisition of the illustrated book Le Siège de Jerusalem by Max Jacob (1914) with three original Picasso etchings. This copy belonged to the poet Paul Éluard,

  • 2005

    Acquisition of the oil painting Fairground Stall (1900).

  • MPB 113.143

    The building in the back square of the museum is added, Plaça Sabartés. Acquisition of 8 prints (MPB 113.121 a 113.128).

  • 2008

    New rooms dedicated to Picasso’s prints. Acquisition of a portrait of Sabartés as a faun, dated 1946 (MPB 113.143).

  • MPB 113.223 MPB 113.291 MPB 113.223 MPB 113.242 MPB 113.136 MPB 113.292

    New Acquisitions at the Museum:

    Madrid Bohemia (group of artists) (MPB 113.222), Santiago Rusiñol and Miquel Utrillo smoking pipes (MPB 113.291), Variation on Las Meninas - Page from the book Picasso. Les Ménines et la vie (MPB 113.223), Print from the book La Célestine by Fernando de Rojas. París, Editions de l'Atelier Crommelynck, 1971– 1001 Nights and Célestine: the Young Slave - 16 May 1968 (III) - 9 x 12.5 cm., Print from the book: Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnuby Honoré de Balzac. Paris, A. Vollard, 1931 - Painter gathering up his brushes, with a model in a turban - 1927-1928.

    A drawing by Picasso is donated to the Museum by Catherine Hutin, the daughter of Jacqueline Picasso. Sketch for Las Meninas (MPB 113.292)

  • 2010-2016

    The new collections come from some anonymous donators, but mainly from the donations of David Douglas Duncan in 2013, from the publisher Gustavo Gili in 2014 and from the Brigitte Baer Archive, donated by David Leclerc in 2015.

    The collection of David Douglas Duncan

    The prestigious international photo-journalist David Douglas Duncan donated 163 photographs to the Museu Picasso that constitute a major testimony to the life and work of Pablo Picasso from 1956 onwards. Various photographs portrayed him, all of them of extraordinary value, but the friendship and connection of Duncan with the artist represented as a result of the capturing of small spaces in the life of Picasso and Jacqueline and the follow up of his artistic processes, are essential for understanding the artist. The value of these photographs lies above all in the series as a whole: they are portraits but at the same time authentic stories about the life of Picasso. Thanks to this we have a highly valuable documentary collection for getting to know the artist and his work better.

  • The donation of the Editorial Gustavo Gili and the acquisition of the Gili-Torra Collection

    The donation made by the publisher, Editorial Gustavo Gili, includes the eight copper plates that Picasso did to produce the illustrated books of The art of bullfighting and The burial of the count of Orgaz, which complete the series of plates that belong to the Museum, received in previous donations, and the more than 2,800 documents, especially letters, contracts and manuscripts that detail the process of the commission, creation and production of the bibliographic works that Picasso did with the publisher.

    Added to this donation, we should also include the acquisition that the Museum did in 2014 of the collection of Gustau Gili and Anna Maria Torra, the most important carried out in a long time, and that has been possible thanks to the creation of the Fundació Museu Picasso of Barcelona. This refers to a collection of 96 pieces made up of 9 drawings, a sketchpad with 62 drawings more, a book with 18 gouaches, 7 engravings, as well as 3 dedicated books of the artist, 198 photographs and diverse documentation. This collection, which is so important, highlights the close friendship that existed between the couples, Picasso-Roque and Gili-Torra, the link between the artist and Barcelona, and represents an important chapter in the history of this Museum.

    The Brigitte Baer Archive

    It is worth underlining the fact that both the collection from the Editorial Gustavo Gili as well as the Gili-Torra Collection constitute a set of information that until now had been little known and studied. The Museum highly values the unique opportunity that they represent in terms of the research around the work and life of Picasso, and of his processes of creation, as happens with the inclusion of the Brigitte Baer Archive, donated by her nephew, David Leclerc. The documentary collection of this French historian, author of the catalogue raisonné of the graphic work of Picasso, gathers together the documentation that he had collected from 1975 until his death in 2005, and that culminated in the seven volumes of Picasso. Peintre-graveur. Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre gravé et des monotypes 1899-1972, that analyses the printed work of the artist, which comprises more than 2,000 pieces. The collection of Brigitte Baer turns the Museum into a world reference regarding the study of the graphic work of the artist.