Iconic Picasso exhibit leaves impression on Milwaukee Art Museum

MILWAUKEE - An iconic artist's work makes a rare trip to Milwaukee. Sketches by Pablo Picasso may be one of the most successful exhibits in the Milwaukee Art Museum's history.

The Degas to Picasso exhibit opened at the beginning of the month, but its popularity has yet to slow down. Milwaukee Art Museum employees say thousands made their way down here this weekend to take a look at the work of the masters of modern art.

When many people think of influential artists, one name often comes to mind.

"Picasso is one of our favorite artists," said Tony Sanchez.

As an artist himself, Sanchez said he was taken aback when he heard 11 pieces of Picasso's 20th-century work would be on display here in Milwaukee.

"I was surprised, it's a small city compared to New York, Chicago, and L.A.,” he said.

Art curator Britany Salsbury went to great lengths to borrow this collection of rare sketches from the University of Oxford in England.

"Many museums in America do have a piece or two by Picasso, but it's a rare opportunity to be able to see as many works as we have here in the show by Picasso," she said.

The gallery spans Picasso’s iconic career, from a sketch of patrons in a bar up as a young man to a drawing of his doctor a short time before he died.

"Degas and Picasso saw these works as important as their paintings and their sculpture and show these works in their exhibitions alongside paintings," Salsbury said.

Salsbury said the sketches on paper played an important role in the history of modern art.

"I would say (they’re) priceless," she said.

Sanchez plans to turn his Picasso experience into inspiration.

"I think it's time to wake up and start doing some work and I believe today is the day we are going to continue what we love to do," he said.

The exhibit runs through January 28. You'll have 2 opportunities to check it out for free. Just come on the first Thursday of the month, that’s Dec. 7 and Jan. 4.

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