24 June 2024
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Art’s spiritual granddaughter: Diana Widmaier-Picasso on sharing her grandfather with the world

THERE ARE precious, intimate belongings that when someone is gone, family will hold onto to know them by. Some clothing; some shoes. Photographs, scribbles, paintings. For the granddaughter of Picasso, Diana Widmaier-Picasso, her family’s memorabilia is shared with the world; their patriarch’s many personal effects studied and embraced by generations. “I think when you love art, [the Masters are] all one family,” Widmaier-Picasso muses. “So Cézanne, like a spiritual father; Matisse maybe like a big brother. So I always like to share Picasso. For me, he’s anyone’s, any art lover’s spiritual grandfather.”

If Picasso is art’s spiritual grandfather, then it is unsurprising that Widmaier-Picasso has assumed the role of its spiritual granddaughter. Widmaier-Picasso’s mother, Maya Ruiz-Picasso, has been among the guardians of Picasso’s art, seeking to preserve her father’s legacy (“I felt immediately it was my mission,” she’s been reported to say. “Above all, I wanted to protect my father’s work and ensure it was respected.”). Widmaier-Picasso has continued that started by her mother, a mission complemented through her professions as art historian and curator, having studied art history at the Sorbonne before joining Sotheby’s, heading up the department of Old Masters drawings. (Currently, outside her endeavours associated with her grandfather, Widmaier-Picasso is also the co-founder and head of creation for the jewellery brand Mene 24k, drawn to the precious metal’s “resonance in all time…I see it as a talisman forever.”). 

“Because I’m the granddaughter, I see works differently, I can step back,” she reflects. “For [my mother], it’s really memories that she had on the walls; we can have photographs, she had all these paintings and drawings. So the emotional relationship she has with it is fascinating, is very unique.” 

This excerpt has been republished from Mariela Summerhays' article for Harper's BAZAAR Australia.

CLICK HERE to read the original article in full.

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