Surprise Picasso discovered in Evansville, Indiana museum

The surprise discovery of a rare work of art by Pablo Picasso, stored 50 years in its collections, could bring spectacular returns for the Evansville Museum.

Nobody knows yet how much “Seated Woman with Red Hat,” the layered, fired glass piece Picasso created in the 1950s, might bring at a private sale, but the museum’s members have decided it’s too expensive to keep.

They voted Tuesday to sell the art privately, through a New York auction house, on recommendation of the board of directors.

“Now that we have a full understanding of the requirements and additional expenses to display, secure, preserve and insure the piece, it is clear those additional costs would place a prohibitive financial burden on the museum,” said R. Steven Krohn, president of the Museum’s board of trustees.

Other work by Picasso has commanded record prices at auction. A 1964 painting Picasso finished in one day sold at auction for $106.5 million at auction in 2010, setting a new record.

It’s unclear how much the Evansville Museum’s piece might fetch, as it is a completely different medium created in a collaborative process.

“Seated Woman with Red Had” is a rarity for Picasso, believed to have made 50 or more works in a colored, fused and fired-glass between 1954 and 1956.

The piece, donated to the museum by industrial designer Raymond Loewy in 1963, was originally believed to be inspired by a Picasso painting, but not executed by the artist. It sat in storage for a half century before a query from an art auction house revealed its creator.

 

Thanks to Beth Pieper for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

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