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The Cleveland Museum of Art announces New Dates for Picasso and Paper

Exhibition featuring nearly 300 works that offer new insight into the artist’s diverse use of paper will be on view September 22 through December 13, 2020

Cleveland is the ONLY North American venue

CLEVELAND, June 18, 2020: Pablo Picasso’s prolonged engagement with paper is the subject of the groundbreaking exhibition Picasso and Paper, organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris. Featuring masterworks in a variety of media, including drawings, prints, photographs, sketchbooks, collages, cut-outs, paper sculpture, and book illustrations, as well as works in oil on canvas and cast bronze, Picasso and Paper will be on view at the CMA from September 22 to December 13, 2020, in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall and Gallery.

“We are excited to welcome our visitors back to the Cleveland Museum of Art for the highly anticipated, blockbuster exhibition Picasso and Paper,” said William Griswold, director of the CMA. “The centerpiece of our fall arts season, Picasso and Paper presents a rare opportunity for visitors to experience the artist’s creative process and artistic achievement with paper as a medium. The CMA is the only North American venue for this remarkable exhibition.”


Showcasing nearly 300 works spanning the artist’s entire career, the exhibition offers new insights into Picasso’s creative spirit and working methods. His relentless exploration of working on and with paper is featured in the many assembled collages of cut-and-pasted papers, sculptures from pieces of torn and burnt paper, documentary photographs and manipulated photographs on paper, and an array of printmaking techniques on paper supports.


Among the highlights are Femmes à leur toilette of 1937–38, an extraordinary, large collage (2.99 x 4.48 meters) of cut-and-pasted papers, which will be exhibited in the U.S. for the first time in 40 years; outstanding Cubist papiers collés; artist’s sketchbooks, including studies for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon; constructed paper guitars from the Cubist and Surrealist periods; and an array of works related to major paintings and sculptural projects.

“Nowhere is Picasso’s astonishing creativity more evident than in his lifelong engagement with paper,” said William H. Robinson, senior curator of modern art. “His exploration of so many different mediums and types of paper, his formal inventiveness and range of subjects, his remarkable technical skills and disregard for conventional materials, especially when considered collectively over the eight decades of his working life, is mind boggling. Paper was often at the center of his world, crucial to his ceaseless sketching and experiments with Cubist collage. Picasso’s unparalleled achievements with paper represents a major contribution to the history of art.”

Picasso and Paper is organized chronologically in 11 sections, displayed in context with a limited number of closely related paintings and sculptures. For example, Picasso’s seminal masterpiece of his Blue period, the CMA’s La Vie (1903), will be presented with preparatory drawings and other works on paper exploring corresponding themes of poverty, despair and social alienation. In the Cubist section, Picasso’s bronze Head of a Woman (Fernande) (1909) on loan from the Musée national Picasso-Paris will be accompanied by a group of associated drawings.


Women at Their Toilette, Paris, winter 1937–38. Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973). Collage of cut-out wallpapers with gouache on paper pasted on canvas; 299 x 448 cm. Musée national Picasso-Paris, Pablo Picasso Gift in Lieu, 1979, MP176. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris) / Art Resource, NY / Adrien Didierjean. © 2020 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York



Extensive information about each section of Picasso and Paper and a selection of visual highlights can be accessed in the exhibition’s press kit.  


Picasso and Paper is curated by William H. Robinson of the CMA, Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Emilia Philippot of the Musée national Picasso-Paris.


Information about reserving tickets for Picasso and Paper will be announced in July.


Exhibition Catalogue


Picasso and Paper is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. It features reproductions of nearly 400 works of art and a series of insightful new texts by distinguished Picasso scholars and leading authorities in various aspects of technical art history. The catalogue reveals the myriad ways in which Picasso explored the potential of paper at different stages of his career.


Featured essays are authored by William H. Robinson of the Cleveland Museum of Art; Ann Dumas of the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Emilia Philippot of the Musée national Picasso-Paris; and Claustre Rafart Planas of the Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Specific aspects of Picasso’s engagement with paper are addressed by Christopher Lloyd, an expert on Picasso’s drawings; Stephen Coppel, curator of prints and drawings at the British Museum; Violette Andres, photography curator at the Musée national Picasso-Paris; Johan Popelard of the University of Paris; and Emmanuelle Hincelin, a paper conservator with scientific expertise in the types of paper Picasso used at key moments in his career.


The catalogue is available for purchase at the online museum store for $60 (hardcover) and $40 (softcover).  


98 The museum’s current hours of operation are Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays.


For more information about the museum’s new safety procedures, please view the FAQ sheet on the museum’s website at cma.org.


Picasso and Paper is organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Cleveland Museum of Art in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris.


Major Sponsors

Gertrude Kalnow Chisholm and Homer D. W. Chisholm

Bill and Joyce Litzler

Anne H. Weil


Supporting Sponsors

Gail and Bill Calfee

Florence Kahane Goodman

Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner

Dr. Conrad and Patricia Simpfendorfer

Claudia Woods and David Osage

Carol Yellig Family Fund

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 61,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship and performing arts. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

The Cleveland Museum of Art receives funding from a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and northeast Ohio. The museum is supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. For more information about the museum and its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org




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