Pablo Picasso’s list

Pablo Picasso’s List, 1912
Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art

Pablo Picasso’s list of European artists, written in graphite on paper for the 1913 Armory Show, is a treasure, not only because it provides Picasso’s recommendations for the first international exhibition of modern art in the United States, but for what the scrap of paper conveys about the collaborative efforts of the exhibition’s organizers. With phonetic spelling, Picasso recommends Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger and Juan Gris, among others for the show.

This list most recently inspired the exhibition and companion book Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010) and an exhibition of the same title.

This object is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. This object is not on display.

(Walt Kuhn, Kuhn family paper and Armory Show records, 1859-1978. Photo courtesy Archives of American Art)

Posted: 15 January 2011
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni has been editing The Torch since August 2006. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Plexus Scientific, The Nature Conservancy, The National Foreign Language Center and St. Martin’s Press, among others. She has the best job in the world.