Not in Paris, not in Barcelona, not in New York… no, Pablo Picasso’s first exhibition in a museum took place in Zürich!
Not in Paris, not in Barcelona, not in New York… no, Pablo Picasso’s first exhibition in a museum took place in Zürich! Originally director Wilhelm Wartmann had his eye on an exhibition with the triumvirate of the modern in Paris – Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Fernand Léger. But once he had visited the big Picasso retrospective which the artist himself, working together with his art dealers, had brought together for the Parisian Galerie Georges Petit in summer 1932, in the end only works by the Spaniard were exhibited, and with resounding success. 34,000 people attended the exhibition, which was practically a sensation under the conditions of that time. Picasso travelled briefly to Zurich to be there during the final preparations. From the items exhibited, the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft (association structure of the Kunsthaus Zürich) purchased the painting Guitar on a Pedestal Table of 1915 for the Kunsthaus collection. This exhibition was reconstructed by Tobia Bezzola in 2010 for the centenary of Kunsthaus Zürich’s existence, and the reconstruction was accompanied by a publication of detailed research. Of the 224 works originally shown, seventy were returned to the location of their first museum presentation, and the public response was again extensive: More than 220,000 people attended the exhibition.
Picasso’s first museum exhibition