Picasso-lovers and art enthusiasts will delight in the rare opportunity to see unique Picasso-inspired tapestries while in San Antonio. The San Antonio Museum of Art will be exhibiting Nelson Rockefeller’s Picassos: Tapestries Commissioned for Kykuit until Sunday, March 8, 2015.
Between 1955 and 1975, Nelson A. Rockefeller undertook an ambitious project and commissioned 18 enormous tapestries to be modeled after some of Pablo Picasso’s most notable paintings, including Girl with Mandolin, Interior with Girl Drawing, Night Fishing at Antibes and Three Musicians, some of which were part of Rockefeller's own collection.
Whether you've seen Picasso's original paintings or even prints, there's simply no way to describe the majesty of seeing Picasso's paintings transformed into these giant, woven works of art. Each piece took between three and six months to complete, and they reflect Rockefeller’s interest in the medieval tradition of French tapestry and his appreciation of modern art.
"Night Fishing at Antibes" by Pablo Picasso — Photo courtesy of San Antonio Museum of Art / Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society, N.Y.
The 18 original Picasso paintings were chosen from over 50 years of Picasso’s work, from 1907 to 1960, and they offer a unique perspective from the mind of an exceptional artist who globally influenced other artists and art worldwide.
This is the only time that so many of the commissioned Picasso tapestries (14 of 18) have been exhibited together outside of Kykuit, the Rockefeller family estate in Westchester County, N.Y., now considered property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Rockefeller believed in the transformative power of art, and his love for modern art was nurtured by his mother, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art.
“I was always most strongly drawn to the work of the great European pioneers of modern art," Rockefeller said once. "Of all of them, Picasso was always my favorite. His restless vitality and constant search for powerful new forms of expression, combined with his superb craftsmanship and sense of color and composition, have remained an unending source of joy and satisfaction to me."
The museum is also offering a variety of programming for all ages to complement this exhibition, including the following events:
Southwest School of Art Collaboration Weavers from the Southwest School of Art will demonstrate tapestry making in the Cowden Gallery every Tuesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Presidential Historian Richard Norton Smith will give a lecture entitled, "On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller" on Sunday, Feb. 15, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. It's free to attend with museum admission.
Make sure to check the San Antonio Museum of Art's website for more details on this exhibit and all of the amazing current and upcoming exhibits to grace the city of San Antonio!