Picasso's Message of Peace Comes to Colombia's War ; Skeptical Collectors Loan Prized Paintings to a Country More in the News for Civil Strife Than Art Appreciation

By Pratt, Timothy | The Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Picasso's Message of Peace Comes to Colombia's War ; Skeptical Collectors Loan Prized Paintings to a Country More in the News for Civil Strife Than Art Appreciation


Pratt, Timothy, The Christian Science Monitor


The name Pablo Picasso evokes images of bizarre portraits with eyeballs where ears should be and surreal faces quartered in red and green cubes.

And, there's "Guernica."

The forbidding painting of war shows wounded horses braying, terrified people running through chaos. So, Mr. Picasso is not the first guy you'd think of as the poster child of artists for peace.

But his jarring work was meant to promote just that. When Nazi officials asked him, "Did you do this?" the painter answered, "No, you did."

If one of the goals of art is to foster reflection on the social condition, what better place to showcase a thought-provoking artist like Picasso than war-torn Colombia?

That was Sylvestre Verger's rationale in 1998 when he proposed bringing the first Picasso exhibit ever to Bogot. But, as soon as the French art exhibit producer started asking museums to lend their precious masterpieces, he realized that portraying Colombia as a safe venue would be as tough as decoding some of Picasso's Blue Period paintings.

Still, Mr. Verger persisted with the "Picasso in Bogot" exhibit, because he wanted the painter's work to "have the impact the artist meant it to have, in a country where it's needed."

"This was a man opposed to all war," says Verger. "And his work here in Colombia is a statement for peace."

Armed with these apparently quixotic ideas , Verger began asking museums to loan Picassos to Colombia's National Museum in 1998, after he did an exhibition there of pre-Impressionist Eugne Boudin. But Verger says that "only one in 100 said yes." Some said they needed their Picassos for new millennium shows. A few, said that he hadn't given enough notice. Others said they didn't want to risk their paintings "in a country like Colombia."

Pablo Vallecilla, Latin American art expert with Sotheby's New York explains that despite best intentions, big-name art institutions are just not going to relinquish prized masterpieces without some serious convincing. "Unfortunately, museums have to make decisions on such important collections through their boards of directors, and members of these boards may only know what appears in the press about a given country," he says.

"And what you see in the press about Colombia is embarrassingly frightening," adds Mr.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Picasso's Message of Peace Comes to Colombia's War ; Skeptical Collectors Loan Prized Paintings to a Country More in the News for Civil Strife Than Art Appreciation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.