Museum Lifts Ban on Photographing Picasso’s “Guernica”



In the beginning of this month, Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía lifted its historic pictures ban on Pablo Picasso’s anti-war portray “Guernica” (1937). The work, well-known for its depictions of the traumatic horrors of the Spanish Civil Conflict, has been repeatedly housed within the Twentieth-century artwork museum since 1992.

A museum spokesperson confirmed to Hyperallergic in a cellphone name that the establishment has repealed its pictures coverage, which has been in place because it first acquired the work. The spokesperson added that it’s “too quickly” to inform how the general public will reply to the rollback on picture restrictions. The carry on the ban went into impact September 1, Euronews reported in August. In line with the information outlet, the museum had beforehand prohibited pictures to guard the portray from digicam flashes in addition to to forestall visitors jams and keep the viewing expertise for guests.

Responding to the April 1937 bombing of the Basque city of Guernica, Picasso painted the work for the Spanish Pavilion on the Worldwide Exposition of Artwork and Know-how in Fashionable Life in Paris, which came about that summer time and fall. In only a month and a half, Picasso accomplished the large-scale work after several modifications, along with not less than 50 drawings and sketches, in line with the museum’s interactive library, Rethinking Guernica: History and Conflict in the 20th Century, which compiles two years of in depth analysis on the portray and its historical past.

“Guernica” in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum in 1956 (photograph by way of Wikimedia Commons)

After the Paris Exposition closed in November 1937, “Guernica” toured a number of cities in Europe earlier than touring to america as a part of an effort to lift funds for Spanish refugees. When World Conflict II erupted in 1939, Picasso entrusted the portray to the Museum of Fashionable Artwork for safekeeping. The portray was on extended loan to the New York museum for 42 years till it lastly returned to Spain in 1981, after Picasso’s dying and the top of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. It was first housed within the Museo del Prado’s Casón del Buen Retiro earlier than ultimately shifting to the Museo Reina Sofía.

Director Manuel Segade, who was appointed to lead the museum in June, informed Euronews that it was his objective for the museum to succeed in “100% photographic accessibility, particularly for a younger viewers that lives filtered by a display screen.” In line with the museum’s web site, the one space that prohibited pictures was Room 205, which homes the well-known Picasso art work, in addition to composition studies and photo reports from the Paris Exposition.

Whereas guests are actually free to take as many pictures of the work as they need, they’re nonetheless prohibited from utilizing selfie sticks, stabilization gadgets or tripods, and flash pictures, that are additionally not allowed in different areas of the museum except indicated in any other case, per the museum’s Frequently Asked Questions.

It’s price noting that the Museo Reina Sofía has been criticized on previous events for bending its strict no-photography coverage within the cases of well-known celebrities Pierce Brosnan and Mick Jagger, who took selfies in entrance of the portray throughout visits to the museum in 2016 and 2022, respectively.

“[We] are continuously mediated by cameras, after we go to a live performance, after we go to any cultural occasion,” Segade informed Euronews. “We consider that it doesn’t make sense that ‘Guernica’ doesn’t have the identical iconic character it deserves.”

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger posted his 2022 journey to the museum, which instantly sparked criticism on-line. (screenshot Maya Pontone/Hyperallergic by way of @KebAbbas on X)


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