Museo Picasso Málaga (MPM) was once again the most visited museum in Andalusia in 2016, receiving 558,033 visitors. This is the highest number of visitors over the course of a year since the museum opened in 2003 and represents an increase of 14% over the figure for 2015.

These excellent results are due to a number of factors, among them the increasing internationalisation of the museum’s programmes and the growing number of collaborative ventures with other cultural institutions and local creative agents, as well as the MPM’s improved financial capacity.

Picasso’s work, the way in which it is displayed and explained, the temporary exhibitions, the architecture of the Palacio de Buenavista and the history contained within the archaeological remains are admired by travellers from all over the world. This, combined with the excellent year for tourism in the city, has meant that in 2016, MPM recorded its highest number of visits since it opened, consolidating its position for yet another year as the leading centre of 20th-century art in terms of visitor figures in Andalusia. A total of 5,100,685 visitors have been recorded since the MPM opened to the public over 13 years ago, thereby leading the cultural transformation Malaga has undergone during this time. To achieve this, MPM benefited once again in 2016 from the vital support of RTVA, as an Advisory Sponsor, as well Vocento, Grupo Joly and Fundación Aena as Sponsoring Partners. Their support for art and culture is fundamental to the museum’s pursuit of its artistic programming. The MPM would like to thank Obra Social “la Caixa” for its support for the art and social inclusion programme, and also to express its gratitude for the sponsorship of CaixaBank and the collaboration of Delta Airlines in the Jackson Pollock exhibition.

Picasso, Pollock and Joaquín Torres-García

Many visitors are not only interested in learning more about Picasso’s work through the MPM Collection, but also come to the museum to view the temporary exhibitions, which are mounted as a way to contextualise the work of this Andalusian artist and his influence. Three such exhibitions opened in 2016: Eye Games. Collection (14 March to 11 September 2016); Mural. Jackson Pollock. Energy Made Visible (21 April to 11 September 2016); and Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern (11 October 2016 to 5 February 2017). In addition, between April and September, the Kunsthalle Würth, in the German city of Schwäbisch Hall, put on the exhibition Picasso and Germany, the first time that a large-format exhibition produced by the MPM has been shown in this country, where it arrived having previously been shown at the MPM under the title Picasso. German Records.

In order to pursue its programme of exhibitions, the MPM has formed close partnerships with other museums, foundations, galleries and private collections around the world, among them the FABA (Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Foundation), the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the MoMA in New York, the Telefónica Foundation and the Kunsthalle Würth.

It should be noted that the Pollock exhibition proved popular with the public and was applauded in the general media and by specialist critics, including leading Spanish newspapers and their cultural supplements, as well as noted international media outlets such as Corriere della Sera, Connaissance des Arts and L’Oeil, which reported “the presentation of Mural this summer at the Museo Picasso Málaga is quite an event, as it brings together two giants – Pollock in the home of the maestro and his rival, Picasso – and because of the remarkable journey undertaken by this large-sized canvas.”

Educational and cultural activities

The main objectives of the programmes that seek to mediate between audiences and artworks are to give insights into Picasso’s work and to provide an understanding of the discourses presented in the temporary exhibitions. Last year, 29,602 people, of whom 18,222 were schoolchildren, participated in these activities. Special mention must also be made of the initiative that used the artwork as a tool for social integration and inclusion, in which 1,342 people with disabilities and members of socially vulnerable groups took part.

In carrying out its educational programme, the MPM was supported in 2016 by the AAGIT (Andalusian Association of Qualified Technical Engineers); APLAMA (Malaga Association of Plastic Artists); the Contemporáneos dance company; the Provincial Council of Malaga; the Arrabal Association in the Europe-wide Talentube programme; the Marcelino Champagnat Foundation; the Psico Ballet Maite León Foundation; Los interventores; La Noria; Suman2+; Malaga Roman Theatre; the University of Iowa; the University of Malaga; and Urban Sketchers.

With regard to cultural activities over the course of the year, the various spaces of the MPM – the galleries, the Auditorium, the gardens and the Education Department –hosted conferences, seminars, screenings, talks, round tables, chamber music, jazz and flamenco concerts, poetry readings and film events. In total, 4,684 people took part in this cultural programme, turning the museum into a living place for encountering the arts. During 2016, various Andalusian, Spanish and international institutions contributed to these cultural events, among them the Malaga Athenaeum, the Andalusian Centre for the Humanities, the COAM (Association of Architects of Malaga), the Malaga Film Festival, the SGAE Foundation, the IAM (Andalusian Women’s Institute), the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra and the University of Iowa.

Renovations at the Museo Picasso Málaga

The Permanent Collection rooms and gallery lighting will undergo works in order to renovate the exhibition spaces between 9 January and March, when the results, leading to a considerable improvement in visitors’ ability to view the detail of Picasso’s canvases and ceramic pieces, will be unveiled.

From 16 January onwards, the temporary exhibition rooms on the ground floor will house a display of 38 masterpieces by Picasso from the FABA. In addition, it will be possible to continue visiting the exhibition Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern up to 5 February 2017. Other spaces in the museum, such as the screening room, the Crommelynck printing press, the gift and bookshop, the café and the archaeological site will also remain open to visitors. While the renovation works are under way, various free activities and reduced admission fees will be available, so visitors are advised to check the museum’s website.

Related Exhibition

Joaquín Torres-García

The Arcadian Modern