Opening day at VMFA Picasso Exhibit draws hundreds

February 19, 2011

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for poster.JPGBy Angel Booth, Veronica Garabelli, Ameesha Felton and Zakia Williams
Multimedia Journalism Masters Program

RICHMOND, Va. — It’s not every day that you get to see a Picasso painting, but Saturday morning Richmonders got an exclusive look at the famous painter’s work.

Hundreds of people came to the opening of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’s Pablo Picasso Exhibit. The exhibit was made possible because The Musee Picasso National in Paris, where the paintings are normally stored, is being renovated until 2012. Richmond marks the only stop on the East Coast, out of the seven-city world tour.

Eva Rocha was a volunteer who was in charge of directing visitors to the exhibition.

“It’s his personal collection, ones that he left off the market because he was trying to show his own history, in his own personal art,” Rocha said.

Jerry Jones said he wanted to see Picasso’s depiction of black art.

“I was inspired by African art,” Jones said.  “I wanted to look to see how his depiction of that represented itself in his art.”

Tim Armstrong was visiting from Northern Virginia and heard there was a Picasso exhibit in town.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the transition in Picasso’s pieces over time and see how things changed,” Armstrong said. “(See) how his genius changed over time.”

Liebe Grieemauw came all the way from Charlottesville to see the exhibit.

“I haven’t seen a Picasso since I was very young,” Grieemauw said. “It’s great to know its right here in our state.”

But it wasn’t just Virginians that made the journey, Blake McCullar along with her 15-month-old-daughter Bella came from York, Pa. McCullar said she has loved Picasso-art since childhood and wanted to expose her daughter to the painter.Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for giftshop.JPG

“I just always loved the colors and the abstract views of Picasso,” McCullar said.

The exhibition is Picasso’s largest collection in the world, and it includes art from every major artistic period of his life, including the Blue Period, Rose Period, Cubism to Surrealism.

The Picasso Exhibit will run until May 15, 2011 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard. Tickets are free for VMFA members and children 6 and under, $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and students. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday through Wednesday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday through Friday.

See why a Charlottesville-family wanted to come see the VMFA’s Picasso Exhibit.