Picasso Museum Reopens in October

Paris -- The problematic Musée Picasso, which has been going through political upheaval has received some good news. Pablo Picasso’s eldest daughter, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, has donated two works by her father to the institution.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network will tour the new Picasso space in October, which is scheduled to reopen coinciding with the annual FIAC art fair.

In June, Anne Baldassari, president since 2005 was fired, replaced by Centre Pompidou-Metz director Laurent Le Bon. This created a split in the Picasso family.

The administrative changes occurred because of the delayed five-year renovation project, which has caused a massive spending deficit.

Adding to Collection

Maya Picasso has gifted a 1908 drawing of a woman’s face in the Cubist style, containing a portrait of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire on the reverse of the page.

She has also given another work -- a sketchbook of 38 pencil drawings, all of them nude studies, dating from April 1960. The sketchbook drawings have never been seen in public before.

The Musée Picasso Paris’s collection is one of the world's greatest archives.

It already includes some 5,000 works by Picasso, including 300 paintings and 300 sculptures.

When it reopens this autumn, the museum will have more than doubled its exhibition space, to about 41,000 square feet.

Long Patrimony

The museum is located in the historic Hôtel Salé on rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district

The hôtel particulier that houses the collection was built between 1656 and 1659 for Pierre Aubert, seigneur de Fontenay, a tax farmer who became rich collecting the gabelle or salt tax (the name of the building means "salted").

Its original architect was Jean Boullier from Bourges, also known as Boullier de Bourges; sculpture was carried out by the brothers Gaspard and Balthazard Marsy and by Martin Desjardins.

It is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais, and a superb example of baroque architecture.

The mansion has changed hands several times by sale or inheritance. The occupants have included:

The Embassy of the Republic of Venice (1671); private home of François de Neufville, duc de Villeroi; expropriated by the State during the French Revolution; in 1815 it became a school, in which Balzac studied; it also housed the municipal École des Métiers d'Art.

It was acquired by the City of Paris in 1964, and was granted historical monument status in 1968.

The mansion was originally restored by Bernard Vitry and Bernard Fonquernie of the Monuments Historiques in 1974–1980.

The Hotel Salé was selected for the Musée Picasso after some contentious civic and national debate. A competition was held to determine who would design the facilities.

The proposal from Roland Simounet was selected in 1976 from amongst the four that were submitted. Other proposals were submitted by Roland Castro and the GAU (Groupement pour l'Architecture et l'Urbanisme), Jean Monge, and Carlo Scarpa.

For the most part, the interior of the mansion (which had undergone significant modifications) was restored to its former spacious state.

The final bill for the most recent refurbishment -- which effectively doubles its display space -- now stands at €52m. This is €22m higher than the original budget due to changes in the scope of the work.

The museum is scheduled to re-open October 25, 2014.