Guggenheim conservation department

PICASSO, The Studio (1928)

Picasso, The Studio 1928
Pablo Picasso, The Studio (1928)

The history of the painting is particular. Soon after its completion in 1928, Picasso reworked it substantially by reducing the variety of the palette and the complexity of the composition. Picasso then passed it to his dealer, the legendary Daniel H. Kahnweiler, in 1929. Five years later Picasso asked to have the painting back and, in an unusual exchange, he gave five paintings to Kahnweiler in return. At some point the painting passed to Valentine Dudensing, from whom Peggy Guggenheim acquired it in New York in 1942, shortly before the opening of Art of This Century.

At the end of the Sixties, to impede dangerous cracking and flaking, the work was lined with wax and resin and mounted on a honeycomb panel. Over the years the wax has come to the surface, yellowing areas painted in white, which is the dominant color of The Studio. In addition, the surface deposit of atmospheric agents has dulled the other colors, resulting in a misleading chromatic perception of the work.

Thanks to scientific progress in the field of conservation, it is now possible to reconstruct the first version of the painting and to determine the sequence of Picasso’s pentimenti. Hence the various examinations and subsequent evaluations will enable us to unveil the creative process underlying The Studio, as well as to determine the most appropriate conservation treatment.

Press Release

This research and conservation project is supported by:
EFG Private Banking, Institutional Patron of the museum.

Jackson Pollock- Two   preliminary investigation

Preliminary investigation- August 2016


In the next weeks, the Conservation Department of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection begins the cleaning and conservation of Pablo Picasso's masterpiece, The Studio (1928).
The first stages of research and the preliminary investigation were carried out with the help of the technicians of the mobile laboratory, MOLAB of the CNR-ISTM of Perugia, that non-invasively examined the painting in situ. Among the goals of analysis was to acquire an understanding the composition of the painting that lies underneath the one visible today, Picasso’s first idea for the image. The various responses of the pigments to radiography highlighted in detail the painting underneath, providing an image of the precise distribution of the areas Picasso overpainted. [gallery]
The week of analytical study and cleaning tests carried out by Luciano Pensabene Buemi, Conservator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in collaboration with Carol Stringari, Deputy Director and Chief Conservator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Veronique Stedman, Chief Conservator of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, were vital in defining the conservation program. [img]
The study and conservation of Picasso's masterpiece are made possible by the generous support of the BSI bank, Institutional Patron of the Collection. Besides supporting prestigious institutions like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and its projects, a passion for art is at the core of the BSI’s ethos. Since 2000, BSI has built its own contemporary art collection, which is among the 100 most important corporate art collections in the world.