Last week I had the privilege of spending an afternoon digging through the Walker’s archives and managed to uncover several inches of fileson the 1980 exhibition, Picasso: From the Future Picasso Museum, Paris. As someone who wasn’t even alive when the Walker put on this exhibition, what I found out about its history was just fascinating…
In a settlement following his death in 1973, the French government selected a group of key works from Picasso’s personal collection of some 45,000 objects, in lieu of inheritance taxes from his heirs. It was decided that these 700 works would form the basis of what we know today as the Museé Picasso in Paris. Little did I know that outside of France, the Walker was the very first museum to ever exhibit from that legacy collection, the second being the Museum of Modern Art in New York. After that, the works returned to the new Picasso museum and it was said that the chance of their ever traveling again was doubtful. Yet those who were among the Walker’s record-breaking crowds in 1980 will recognize a few of those pieces back in the galleries for Picasso and American Art, including “ The Shadow” (1953). And as it did in 1980, the Walker will provide extended hours for Picasso’s final weekend, as follows:
Thursday-Saturday, September 6-8, 10am-10pm
Sunday, September 9, 10am– 6pm
“The Shadow,” 1953
Did you also know that…
- In preparation for the 1980 exhibition, the Walker sold advance tickets for the first time ever. They also increased staffing for a number of departments, including maintenance crews whose job was partly to work overnight repainting walls that got dirty during the day.
- Marketing for the exhibition included daily, alternating menus in Gallery 8 that featured French and Spanish cuisine and a Metro Transit bus that was painted into what was called the “ Picassomobile.”
- An art graduate student was hired to decorate cake reproductions of works in the exhibition for the members’ preview events. The cakes took one week to complete and were 4 x 5 feet and 48 inches in diameter. The frosting alone required 70 pounds of powdered sugar, 14 pounds of margarine, one quart of vanilla, one package of salt and two and a half gallons of whole milk.