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Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris
February 24, 2010 - May 2, 2010
Three Musicians
Three Musicians, 1921
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish
Oil on canvas
6 feet 8 1/2 inches × 6 feet 2 1/8 inches (204.5 × 188.3 cm) Framed: 6 feet 10 1/2 inches × 6 feet 4 1/2 inches × 2 1/2 inches (209.6 × 194.3 × 6.4 cm)
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1952
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Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris
February 24, 2010 - May 2, 2010

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Internationally recognized as one of the most innovative and influential artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) was at his most ferociously inventive between 1905 and 1945. Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris surveys his work during these crucial decades, when he transformed the history of art through his innate virtuosity and protean creativity. The exhibition follows the trajectory of Picasso’s career from his early experiments with abstraction to his pioneering role in the development of Cubism, as well as his dialogue with Surrealism and other important art movements in the ensuing decades. The exhibition will also explore the important role that the city of Paris played in the history of modern art during the first half of the twentieth century, when artists from around the world followed Picasso’s example and moved to the French capital. It will include works by expatriate artists like Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Patrick Henry Bruce, and Man Ray, who collectively formed a vibrant, international avant-garde group known, for posterity, as the School of Paris.

Drawn from the Museum’s extraordinary collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings by Picasso, with additional loans from private American collections, this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to reconsider the cross-fertilization of ideas that took place in Paris during one of the most experimental and creative periods in Western art. Two-hundred fourteen paintings, sculptures, and works on paper will be on view, including Picasso’s Three Musicians (1921), a grand summation of the artist’s decade-long exploration of Synthetic Cubism in which the artist seems to cast himself and his poet friends Guillaume Apollinaire and Max Jacob as players in a radical form of Cubist concert.

Behind the Scenes

The Americans in Paris gallery

The Salon Gallery - part 1

The Salon Gallery - part 2

Dream and Lie of Franco

Picasso's Three Musicians

Picasso's Drawing for Lysistrata

Brancusi's Mademoiselle Pogany [III]

Chair with Gladiolas

Collage and Papier Collé gallery

Picasso's Self-Portrait with Palette

Picasso's Man with a Lamb

Georges Braque's Violin and Newspaper

Picasso's Woman with Loaves

Fernand Léger's The City

Juan Gris' Still Life before an Open Window, Place Ravignan

Virgil Marti, artist and designer of the Sigmund pouf

Timothy Rub, George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer

Michael Taylor, The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art

Suzanne Penn, Conservator of Paintings

Jack Schlechter, Installations Designer

Marla K. Shoemaker, The Kathleen C. Sherrerd Senior Curator of Education


GlaxoSmith Kline
Made possible by GlaxoSmithKline. Additional funding is provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Promotional support provided by NBC 10 WCAU; Philadelphia Visitors and Convention Bureau (PCVB) and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC); The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and; and Amtrak.


Michael Taylor • The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art


Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor

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