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Pablo meets SAM: The Picasso Exhibit

October 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Lifestyle, SAM


It’s one of the biggest events in Seattle arts history.  Seattle Art Museum (SAM)’s exhibit, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris includes iconic works from nearly every period of artistic legend Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). The Musée’s collection is the largest and considered the most important collection of Picasso’s work in the world.  SAM’s exhibit features more than 150 original pieces including nearly 75 paintings and sculptures, complemented by a selection of prints, drawings and photographs.  

The Musée Picasso’s holdings stand apart from other such collections because it’s made up of 3,000 works that Picasso kept for himself. The collection contains works from eras such as:  Blue Period, Rose Period, African art-inspired, Cubist, surrealist and classicizing, among others. Picasso’s muses, Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar, are also here. His eight-decade career spanned both World Wars, the Spanish Civil War, and the Korean War. Each conflict also made a presence in his work.

This exhibit first ran in Helsinki and Moscow, and Seattle has the honor of being the first of three American stops for the exhibit.  From here it moves to Richmond, Virginia, then to a final city to be determined before heading home.  The Musée National Picasso, Paris, opened in 1985 with the intent of giving a permanent home to Picasso’s collection. Housed in a converted 17th-century mansion in Paris’ Marais neighborhood, a number of problems arose including the ability to display only 300 works at a time. Whoops! The Musée closed in August 2009 for a massive renovation and is scheduled to reopen in early 2012. This makes the current SAM exhibit a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the works of a man who truly changed the art world, in our own backyard.  

SAM is located at 1300 First Avenue in downtown Seattle, and this exhibit runs from October 8, 2010 through January 17, 2011. In addition, SAM is coordinating a number of programs and collaborations among local institutions and organizations including the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Repertory Theater, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle Arts and Lectures and the University of Washington.  There’s also a wide variety of hotel packages and partnerships with restaurants and retailers throughout the city as well, which should also be fun for you and your guests to explore during the upcoming holiday season.  Hours, ticket ordering and more information are available at or at .