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Gallery Talk: Why Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and Questions of War Matter Today

Six students stand or sit in a large gallery in front of a wide abstract painting.
Seated students with Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, Warburg Hall, Fogg Museum, 1941. Exhibition Records (HC 6), folder 2038. Harvard Art Museums Archives, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Gallery Talk

Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

This event requires registration; see further details below.

Harvard professor Suzanne Preston Blier will discuss Pablo Picasso’s engagement with warfare and revolution, as she examines works on display in the installation Picasso: War, Combat, and Revolution (University Teaching Gallery, January 20–May 5, 2024). The installation complements Blier’s course on Worlds Fairs.

Picasso’s painting Guernica, commissioned by the Spanish government for the 1937 Paris World’s Fair, addresses the devastating Fascist-era aerial bombing of the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937. More broadly, the painting confronts the horrors of war. The works on view explore many of Guernica’s core themes—imagery of death, struggles of good and evil, political and artistic revolution, and issues of desire and capture—which remain relevant today as war, violence, and fascism engulf key parts of the world.

Led by:
Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Gallery talks are limited to 18 people and registration is required. You can register by clicking on the event on this form, beginning at 10am the day of the talk.

Please meet in the Calderwood Courtyard, in front of the digital screens between the shop and the admissions desk.

The Harvard Art Museums are now offering free admission every day, Tuesday through Sunday. Please see the museum visit page to learn about our general policies for visiting the museums.

The installation was made possible in part by funding from the Gurel Student Exhibition Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.