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Pablo Picasso. Glass and Packet of Cigarettes (detail), 1911–12. BF200. © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Free; registration required.

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About the Talk

Naina Saligram on “The Cult of Picasso in America, 1921–51”
On-Site & Online Talk | Member Appreciation Days

“The cult of Picasso in America has become disgusting,” Dr. Barnes bemoaned in a 1946 letter to Leo Stein. He assigned blame with equal candor, calling out the leadership of the Museum of Modern Art in New York “. . . especially Alfred Barr.” How did Barr—who was only 27 years old when appointed founding director in 1929—help shape Picasso’s reputation in America along with MoMA’s mission and ideology? How did Dr. Barnes—who began collecting and championing Picasso’s art as early as 1912—come to decry the artist’s celebrity by midcentury? In this talk, Barnes research fellow Naina Saligram explores the early histories of MoMA and the Barnes Foundation and compares Dr. Barnes’s and Barr’s perspectives on Picasso and modern art.

Members are invited to join us in the Comcast NBCUniversal Auditorium or online via livestream. Online registrants will be emailed a link to access the talk on Thursday, December 7.

Naina Saligram

Saligram is a fellow researching the 46 works by Picasso in the Barnes. She has held curatorial, research, and teaching positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery and has previously taught Barnes classes on subjects including primitivism and surrealism.


Pablo Picasso. Glass and Packet of Cigarettes, 1911–12. BF200. © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.