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Picasso: The Artist's Studio
Picasso: The Artist's Studio

Understanding Picasso Through Conservation (UPTC)

A picture is a sum of destructions.
—Pablo Picasso

Among the most inventive and prolific painters in the history of art, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) developed distinctive methods of creating, destroying, and revising images. The UPTC (Understanding Picasso Through Conservation) Project gathers studies of Picasso’s working methods, as revealed through x-radiography, infrared reflectography, and other forms of scientific analysis. These materials are interpreted jointly by conservators trained in the scientific analysis of physical objects and by curators trained in art history. Because Picasso derived meaning from the very act of creation, studying this process can be crucial to unlocking the meaning of his art.

UPTC is a strictly nonprofit, scholarly effort designed to advance knowledge about Picasso, with a particular focus on studying his art through conservation technologies. The project has two objectives: first, to provide a forum for curators, art historians, and conservators to exchange research about Picasso; second, to provide a means of making this research available to the general public, especially teachers and students.

Currently, the project is in the developmental stage. It is hoped that in the future summaries of recent discoveries, which are now being made by curators and conservators working independently around the world, will be posted on Web sites and connected by Internet links.

Museums contributing research include: The Cleveland Museum of Art; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; The Art Institute of Chicago; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge; The Tate Gallery, London; Hermitage State Museum, St. Petersburg.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Tate Gallery, London

The Art Institute of Chicago

National Gallery of Art

Methods of Scientific Examination

Other Online Resources

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