Issue 102, Spring 1987
Pablo Picasso died in 1973 without a will, leaving his wondrous personal estate to be divided among his heirs and the French government. The latter made its selection first. Because Picasso had never given gifts of artwork during his lifetime to his granddaughter Marina Picasso (the daughter of Paulo, Picasso’s son with his first wife, the Russian ballerina Olga Koklova) she was given the right to select next. With the aid and representation of art dealer Jan Krugier, she acquired about twenty-two percent of her grandfather’s enormous private collection, thus instantly becoming the owner of one of the great assemblages of Picassos in the world paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, ceramics, and notebooks ranging from 1895 to 1973. Jan Krugier spent months making his selections for Marina. The experience made up, in a way, for the one time he had met Picasso in the fifties. “I was brought by a Spanish friend of mine who, like me, had been in the concentration camps,” he recalls. “I came with some drawings of my own war experiences to show Picasso. But I was too frightened and shy. I hardly said a word. My Spanish friend was furious. I was paralyzed with fear. Perhaps that is what happens when you come face to face with such extraordinary genius — a one person musée extraordinaire.”
The following selection from Manna Picasso’s collection, accompanied by notes by James Barron, focuses on Picasso’s women —a leitmotif of his work, a constant inspiration. It is the first time this work has been reproduced in the United States. All works by Picasso are reproduced courtesy of Jan Krugier Fine Art, New York.