Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from September 24, 1989 to January 16, 1990, and included almost 400 works of art in a range of media. Organized by MoMA’s curator emeritus, William Rubin, the show emphasized the partnership of Picasso and Braque, giving the latter equal credit for the creation of Cubism. The press release for the exhibition stated, “During the Cubist years both artists were at their best when they were closest to one another. Cubism as we know it was a vision that neither artist could have realized alone.”
With its unique focus on the artists’ close and unusually long (1908–14) working relationship, the exhibition set an attendance record for the museum: 1.1 million visitors during the course of its three-and-a-half-month run. MoMA arranged an ambitious symposium around the exhibition. Twenty-seven scholars, seven of whom presented papers, met over the course of four days in November 1989. The papers and ensuing dialogue were published in Picasso and Braque: A Symposium (1992). New York University professor Pepe Karmel’s appendix on the dating/redating continues to be a useful resource. A smaller version of the exhibition traveled to the Kunstmuseum Basel, where it was on view from February 25 to June 4, 1990.
This label is affixed to the back of Braque’s Still Life with Metronome (Still Life with Mandola and Metronome) (1909). It was one of fourteen works that Leonard A. Lauder loaned to the MoMA presentation: Braque: Trees at L’Estaque (1908); Still Life with Dice (1911); Fruit Dish and Glass (1912); and Still Life: “2e étude” (1914); Picasso: Two Nudes (1909); Nude in an Armchair (1909); Carafe and Candlestick (1909); Standing Female Nude (1910); The Scallop Shell: “Notre Avenir est dans l’Air” (1912); Composition with Violin (1912); Man Leaning on a Table with Playing Cards (1914); Bearded Man Playing Guitar (1914); and Playing Cards, Glasses, Bottle of Rum: “Vive la France” (1914/15). In the ensuing years, Mr. Lauder has purchased another twenty-seven pictures that had been on display. Eight works, now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection, were also included: Braque’s Candlestick and Playing Cards on a Table (1910; 1997.149.12) and Still Life with Banderillas (1911; 1999.363.11), and Picasso’s Kneeling Nude (1907–08; 1999.363.61), Standing Female Nude (1910; 49.70.34), Pipe Rack and Still Life on a Table (1911; 1997.149.6), Seated Man Reading a Newspaper (1912; 49.70.27), Head of a Man (1912; 49.70.29), and Card Players at a Table (1914; 1984.5.2).
For more information, see
Rubin, William. Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism. Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1989.
Picasso and Braque: A Symposium. Proceedings of a symposium held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 10–15, 1989, in conjunction with the exhibition Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Modernism, on view at the Museum of Modern Art, September 24, 1989–January 16, 1990. Organized by William Rubin and moderated by Kirk Varnedoe; proceedings edited by Lynn Zelevansky. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1992.