A Picasso in a Barn

The Fondation Beyeler, in collaboration with Swisscom, launched the #myprivatepicasso contest last month and the lucky winner displayed Picasso's 'Bust of a Woman with a Hat (Dora)' in his barn!

A Picasso in a Barn

Pablo Picasso's Buste de femme au chapeau (Dora), a 1939 portrait of his muse and mistress, hung in a Swiss farmer's barn last month. 

Why?

The painting is owned by the Fondation Beyeler, a museum near Basel, Switzerland and to promote its spring exhibition dedicated to Picasso's early blue and rose periods, the foundation launched the #myprivatepicasso competition. Applicants had to explain why they deserved to have a Picasso in their residence and the lucky winner would have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hang the Picasso masterpiece in their home for 24 hours.

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme au chapeau (Dora), 1939 (Detail) Bust of Woman with Hat (Dora)
Oil on canvas, 55 x 46.5 cm, photo Peter Schibli, Basel © 2018 Succession Picasso / ProLitteris, Zurich
Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme au chapeau (Dora), 1939 (Detail) Bust of Woman with Hat (Dora) Oil on canvas, 55 x 46.5 cm, photo Peter Schibli, Basel © 2018 Succession Picasso / ProLitteris, Zurich

Hanspeter Benz won the contest and welcomed the painting to his farm in Wettingen, near Zurich, where a small inauguration ceremony was held, attended by the granddaughter of Picasso, Diana Widmaier-Picasso.

Is it risky to display a Picasso in a stable? Funnily enough, no. Swisscom and Fondation Beyeler monitored the work closely, with a frame that tracked the humidity, temperature and GPS position of the space. Sam Keller, Director of the Fondation Beyeler, said that the idea of ​​the competition is part of an extensive programme to encourage as many people to get closer to art, especially those who don't go to museums often.

Fondation Beyeler. Image: Art Basel
Fondation Beyeler. Image: Art Basel

Cover Image: Hanspeter Benz with the Picasso work, courtesy Fondation Beyeler via The Art Newspaper

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