New Walk museum & art gallery to display permanent collection of Picasso

A permanent exhibition of selected key Picasso ceramics from the collection of Lord and Lady Attenborough will be on display from the 16th April at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

In 1954, Richard and Sheila Attenborough paid their first visit to the Madoura pottery in Vallauris in the south of France, where Picasso had been working for several years with Georges and Suzanne Raimé. They made some modest purchases, forging the beginning of a collection that eventually numbered some 150 pieces. All of Picasso’s activity with ceramics centred around the madoura pottery factory where he worked on plates, jugs and tiles, often combining aspects of painting and sculpture in their decoration.

Richard and Sheila Attenborough
A large part of the collection first went on display in 2007 and received outstanding reviews. Lord Attenborough said: “We were both amazed and thrilled that in 2007 over 80, 000 people visited the exhibition of the ceramics which we have acquired over 50 years. We are now delighted that this permanent gallery will once again enable people to enjoy this part of our collection which has been specially selected for this exhibition.

The permanent exhibition is being curated by renowned Picasso expert Dr Marilyn McCully, supported by specialist staff at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery. Dr Mc Cully said: “Ceramics was the medium in which Picasso showed his powers of artistic transformation in the most inventive way. Working on the editerranean coast in the last 20 years of his life, he drew his inspiration from mythology, popular traditions and his own creativity which had revolutionized modern art.”

In 2007, Lord and Lady Attenborough announced that their Picasso ceramics collection would be entrusted to the City of Leicester to cemmemorate the lives of their daughter, Jane Mary, and their granddaughter, Lucy Elizabeth, who perished together in the Asian Tsunami on 26th December 2004.

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