In autumn 2009, Ateneum Art Museum
will open a unique, extensive exhibition of the work of Pablo Picasso. All phases of the artist's production are comprehensively presented in this exhibition featuring some two hundred works, all of them coming to Ateneum from the collections of the Musée National Picasso in Paris. Before arriving at Ateneum, these collections have been on view e.g. at the Reina Sofia in Madrid and the National Art Centre in Tokyo. After Ateneum, this exhibition will be seen in e.g. Hamburg. Helsinki is the only Scandinavian city hosting this Picasso exhibition.
The exhibition at Ateneum will be curated by Anne Baldassari, Director of the Musée National Picasso in Paris. The museum has an exceptionally extensive collection of works by Picasso. The museum was founded after the artist's death, following an agreement between the State of France and Picasso's heirs. A large collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings and prints was transferred to the State of France. Later on, a bequest made by Picasso's wife was added to the collection.
The collection of the Musée National Picasso is especially remarkable because of the fact that Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) himself held on to those of his works he thought were the most significant. The museum also houses Picasso's personal archives and photograph collection, making it an important research centre. The premises of the museum in Paris are currently being renovated, and the collection is touring several international museums until the renovation is complete.