In its latest move to raise its public profile and invigorate its program, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced an exhibition of 90 works by Pablo Picasso from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The show of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, surveying the career of the 20th century master, will open Sept. 6 and run through Jan. 4--less than two weeks before LACMA launches the anticipated blockbuster, "Van Gogh's Van Goghs: Masterpieces From the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam."
LACMA officials hailed the Picasso show as the beginning of an exciting season for the Wilshire Boulevard institution, which is still recovering from a long period of financial cutbacks and administrative reorganization under president Andrea Rich and director Graham W.J. Beal. Both exhibitions are expected to boost attendance and membership.
"The exact budget for the Picasso show is still in negotiations with MOMA, but we expect it to be in excess of $1 million," said Keith McKeown, LACMA's director of marketing. The museum is seeking corporate sponsorship of the exhibition, but no contract has been signed, he said. Costs of the Van Gogh exhibition have not been disclosed.
The Picasso exhibition, "Picasso: Masterworks From the Museum of Modern Art," is a scaled-down version of a popular, 125-piece attraction that closed Feb. 15 at Atlanta's High Museum, for which museum officials reportedly raised $1.5 million in corporate sponsorship. During its 11-week Atlanta run, the exhibition attracted 243,336 visitors, the second-highest attendance in the museum's history, and it increased membership from 32,500 to 35,237.
Among major Picasso paintings to appear in Los Angeles are "Boy Leading a Horse" (1906), "Three Musicians" (1921) and "Girl Before a Mirror" (1932). Sculptures include the maquette for the artist's first construction, "Guitar" (1912), and the 1951 bronze "Baboon and Young." Drawings for Picasso's breakthrough painting, "Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon," also will be shown, along with prints depicting mythological themes.