Banker Brings Picasso To British Museum

British Museum acquires UK’s first complete Picasso set with aid of banker donation

The British Museum has secured an exciting new acquisition this week thanks to the generosity of one wealthy businessman. This new acquisition, known as the Vollard Suite, is a collection of 100 Picasso etchings from between 1930 and 1937. And as a result of this exchange, the British Museum will become the only public museum in the UK to house a complete Picasso set.

This grand purchase was made possible by a £1m donation to the museum by Hamish Parker, a City financier. Mr Parker made this donation on behalf of his late father, Major Horace Parker, remarking that: ‘To have this set in such close proximity to the Elgin marbles would be a particular delight to him.’ Stephen Coppel, the museum’s curator of prints and drawings, said he was ‘astonished’ to receive news of the donation earlier this year, calling it ‘an extraordinary gift’.

The Vollard Suite takes its name from the Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard who commissioned the collection from Picasso, reportedly paying him with a Cezanne painting along with a Renoir. The etchings date from what is widely thought of as a seminal stage in Picasso’s career, with many featuring his famed teenage muse, Marie-Therese Walter. The suite has never before been publicly exhibited or even exposed to natural light.

Lovers of Picasso still have some time to wait before they can see the collection for themselves, however: the complete collection will be exhibited from May until September 2012. Words Maddie Bates © 2011 ArtLyst

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