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Through the Eyes of Picasso

This major exhibition explores Pablo Picasso’s life-long fascination with African and Oceanic art, as well as works from the Americas, uniting his paintings and sculpture with art that fueled his own creative exploration.

In addition to paintings, sculpture, and drawings by Picasso, the exhibition features significant works of African and Oceanic art that transformed his artistic vision when he encountered them at the Musée d’ Ethnographie du Trocadéro (now Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris) during the early part of the 20th century. For Picasso, the allure of these masks and sculptures was in the artists’ exploration of line, abstraction of the human body, and representation of metamorphosis.

Visitors also will see works Picasso collected, lived with, and kept with him through numerous studio moves, still owned by his family, and others that are in the Picasso Museum in Paris.


Saturday, Jan 20 | 1 pm
Tickets required

All Eyes on Picasso
The Art of Appropriation

Join us for an insightful panel discussion that wrestles with questions of appropriation, appreciation, and inspiration as those concepts apply to Picasso’s work and Western art and culture.


Saturday, Feb 3 | 1 pm
Tickets required

The Mystery of Picasso
(1956, 78 minutes, French with English subtitles)

See Picasso in action in The Mystery of Picasso (1956, 78 minutes, French with English subtitles), the famous film that demonstrated the artist’s profound abilities in real time.

Speaker Series

All talks 6-7 pm
Tickets required

Julián Zugazagoitia, director of the Nelson-Atkins and exhibition curator, has invited three prominent French scholars and museum leaders to share perspectives on Pablo Picasso, his creative interests and relationship with the arts of Africa and the world.

Thursday, February 22
Picasso’s Collection of African and Oceanic Art
Presented by Peter Stepan, scholar and author

Thursday, March 22
Paris’ musée quai Branly and the Display of African Art
Presented by Stéphane Martin, president of the musée quai Branly–Jacques Chirac, Paris

Thursday, April 5
The Musée Picasso: An Enduring Legacy
Presented by Laurent le Bon, president of the Musée National Picasso–Paris