Picasso portrait donated to N.C. art museum

Posted February 24, 2010

— Hedge fund manager Julian Robertson and his wife, Josie, have donated four paintings to the North Carolina Museum of Art, including a noted portrait by Pablo Picasso, officials said Wednesday.

In addition to Picasso's "Seated Woman, Red and Yellow Background," the Robertsons donated "The Bridge at Moret on an April Morning" by Alfred Sisley, "The Bridge at Poissy" by Maurice de Vlamick and "Fishing Boat (Red Sky)" by Emil Nolde.

“The North Carolina Museum of Art is elated to receive this generous promised gift from the Robertsons," museum director Larry Wheeler said in a statement. "These works, by major School of Paris painters, will both fill a gap in and beautifully complement the museum’s collection, enabling it to present more fully the story of the birth of modern art.”

Picasso’s portrait of his lover, Françoise Gilot, will be installed in the museum’s new building when it opens on April 24, officials said. The visually complex and expressive portrait was painted at the end of Picasso's and Gilot's turbulent relationship.

The museum's permanent collection will be housed in the 127,000-square-foot expansion. The renovation and construction project, which costs nearly $84 million, is designed to allow in natural light to keep energy costs down while protecting the artworks from being damaged.

A Salisbury native and a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate, Julian Robertson founded Tiger Management, one of the largest investment companies for wealthy individuals.


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  • G-man Feb 25, 2010

    If you have to have an art degree to appreciate the art maybe they aren't very good artists in the first place. While Picasso is very much talented with the brush his subject mattter sure leans towards the disturbed.

  • NCbluebird Feb 25, 2010

    These pieces will be wonderful additions to the museum. Picasso, Vlaminck, Sisley, and Nolde--the people who donated these works have incredible taste and obviously understand these painters' importance in the development of modern art history. I'd like to express my gratitude to the donors for their generous gift, which will give me the opportunity to see these wonderful works of art.

    When I was in elementary school--a little school out in the country in the early 1960s--there was a print of a Picasso cubist still life in our cafeteria. It intrigued me every time I looked at it, and it planted the desire in me to understand modernism. I took art classes in high school and ended up double majoring in college so that I could get an art degree and better appreciate the arts.

    It's just sad to read some of the posts here where people are denigrating something they obviously know almost nothing about.

  • bcnc Feb 25, 2010

    If I owned this painting, I would donate it also. I would not want it hanging in my house. Maybe I don't have the eye (or two or three)as in Picasso's case, for beauty, but what a piece of junk.

  • ncgoofygirl Feb 24, 2010

    Picasso must have been a huge fan of illicit drugs. He had to be doing acid in this stage of his career to come up with something so hideous. I don't care what it's worth, I wouldn't make room for it in my closet. But there is plenty of room in the gabage. Hey, richie rich, can you come off a Monet next time. Now that's Art.

  • NC is my home Feb 24, 2010

    Dear G-Men & 27615

    I'd rather my tax money go for things that edify like our museums, historic sites, etc. rather than subsidize the indigent.

  • gwilson270 Feb 24, 2010

    I read something that said he was just trying to see how far art nuts would go for his paintings. That is why he did things like the donated one. Not a fan.

  • G-man Feb 24, 2010

    War funding is approved in the Constitution, the arts aren't. While he might have been a child prodigy and yes I have seen some of his better pieces, maybe he was listening to the voices in his head on this one.

  • JAT Feb 24, 2010

    some people just make too much money. I thought I was splurging when I got the $29.99 picture at the WalMart. Guess I should have saved my money and gone for a Picasso.

  • Doctor Dataclerk Feb 24, 2010

    Piccaso should have been on the show "Can You Paint Better Than A Fifth Grader"

  • dwntwnboy Feb 24, 2010

    "Tax payer's shouldn't fund art museums."- why not? We fund wars.

    "Picasso's art work is weird and ugly at best,glad it's not going to be in my living room"- you don't have to worry about that as I'm sure you (or most people) could never afford a Picasso. If you have ever studied his art- you would know he was one of the best painters this planet has ever seen. He was a child prodigy and his early paintings looked like photographes they were so realistic- he was painting portraits of kings in his teens. He turned to the modern movement to try something different and daring. Glad the NCMA got this- can't wait to see the new building.