The Museu Picasso, located in Barcelona, Spain, houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. With 4,251 works exhibited by the painter, the museum has one of the most complete permanent collections of works. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona's La Ribera and is located on Montcada Street in the (Bank District) of Barcelona.
It opened to the public on 9 March 1963, becoming the first museum dedicated to Picasso's work and the only one created during the artist's life. It has since been declared a (museum of national interest) by the Government of Catalonia.
Highlights of the collection include two of his first major works, The First Communion (1896), and Science and Charity (1897). In particular, the Museu Picasso reveals Picasso's relationship with the city of Barcelona, a relationship that was shaped in his youth and adolescence, and continued until his death.
The original idea for the museum came from Picasso’s lifelong friend and secretary, Jaume Sabartés, whom Picasso had given many paintings, drawings, and prints since meeting in 1935. Originally, Sabartés intended to found the museum in Málaga, Picasso’s birthplace. It was Picasso himself who suggested that Barcelona would be more appropriate, given his long standing connections with the city.
On 27 July 1960, Sabartés signed an agreement with the city of Barcelona to found the museum. The museum opened in 1963, with the collection established through Sabartés' donation of 574 works from his personal collection. Other items included works that Picasso had given to the city of Barcelona, such as Harlequin, works previously in the possession of the city’s museum of modern art, and other gifts from Picasso’s friends and collectors. The museum opened under the name of the Sabartés Collection, because of Picasso’s strong opposition to Franco’s regime. In the end, Barcelona mayor Josep Porcioles went against the wishes of the central government in order to open the museum.
When it opened, the museum was located in Palau Aguilar on Montcada Street. In this era, the collection consisted mainly of the personal collection Sabartés, some lithographs, and posters. Other donations during the museum's first year included a book of engravings made by Picasso of Ovid's Metamorphoses, donated by Salvador Dalí, as well as a collage given by Dali Gala. In subsequent years, the collection was expanded with donations, including 7-drawings dated between 1899 and 1904 given by Junyer Sebastian Vidal.
The Picasso Museum has carried out dozens of exhibitions since it opened. Often, these exposures are related to the figure of the painter or topics related to their environment, trying to research and review the work and studies of the painter from Málaga. We have also held exhibitions on the relationship between Picasso and other artists as Picasso vs. Rusiñol held in 2010. Sometimes also organized a traveling exhibition, and Bullfighting.
Paintings, drawings and prints in the collection of the Museu Picasso which could be seen at the Casa Lis in Salamanca in 2010. Also made small exhibition focused on one topic, called displays, such as analyzing the painting Science and Charity, the results of studies showing radiographic and reflectologia or another that analyzes a statement that was made about Picasso in Barcelona 1936, Room Esteva. Picasso Exhibition, 1936.
The Museu Picasso frequently hosts special exhibitions presenting artworks by Picasso and other artists. From time to time, the museum also organizes seminars and lectures on subjects related to Picasso or on museological issues of interest given by specialists from throughout the world.