A new museum dedicated to Pablo Picasso is opening near Aix-en-Provence and could fast become the ultimate attraction to the Spanish artist.
The Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso is currently in the planning stages and promises to be one of the largest collection of the artist’s works, many of which will be going on display for the first time. There are about 1000 paintings and 1000 other artistic works, giving other Picasso collections in Paris and Madrid a run for their money.
The museum is being set up by Catherine Hutin-Blay, Picasso’s step-daughter by his second wife Jacqueline Roque. She recently purchased an old convent from the local council near where Jacqueline and Picasso are buried. An extensive refurbishment project is in the works but the initial plans describe space for permanent and temporary exhibits, a Picasso research centre, 200-seat auditorium and spaces for workshops where the public can learn pottery and etching.
The new collection will be mainly drawn from 1952 to the artist’s death in 1973. Jacqueline died in 1986 and now Catherine wants to finally house the collection permanently, a wish she’s had for years but has been unable to do so until now for financial reasons.
Roque was somewhat of a muse for Picasso and during their 11-year marriage, he painted more than 400 portraits of her, in both literal and abstract forms, including 160 in the year 1963 alone.
The Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso is estimated to draw up to half a million more visitors to Aix-en-Provence when it opens in 2021. Until then, the Berlin Museum Barberini will host a loan of some of the private collection in March 2019.