The recession once extended into the artistic world. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art had made a habit of recycling its older collections, reusing pieces of work, and piecing though its back catalogue in search of items to display. Patronage was down and the museum was operating at its lowest level in decades, leading many to believe the recession was taking its toll on public centres.
But a new exhibition highlighting the work of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso is drawing in guests more quickly than any before it. An estimated 730,000 people attended the exhibition between the end of April and August fifteenth, setting a record for the museum and cementing its position in New York City’s cultural scene. Average daily attendance reached from 6,700 to 7,000 people.
Picasso’s work has long been a staple of the artistic community. The famed painter and sculptor was born in Spain and lived most of his life in Western Europe, pioneering art styles such as cubism and stylistic painting throughout the twentieth century. Owing to the success of the New York exhibition and its impact on attendance, the collection will be displayed at the Seattle Art Museum in October.
The public exhibition has been a wonderful ‘re-branding’ effort for New York City’s art scene, long perceived as a domain for the city’s rich and privileged population. Art collection is an interest for many of the city’s billionaire businesspeople and super-rich families – a reputation that the public exhibition is helping to eliminate. The public display makes the painter’s range available to all.
However, it isn’t quite a complete display of Picasso’s immense talent and ability. The exhibition is made up primarily of his paintings and basic sculptures, with no metal workings or plates available to view. Given the expense and difficulty of transporting the painter’s entire collection worldwide, it is certainly an incredible collection of the artist’s prolific output and creative ability.