Picasso portrait donated to N.C. art museum

Posted February 24, 2010 10:41 a.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2010 11:08 a.m. EST

— 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.