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Statement by The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Accident Involving Picasso's The Actor

(New York, January 24, 2010)— An important painting by Pablo Picasso was accidentally damaged in the galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Friday afternoon, January 22. A visitor attending a class lost her balance, falling onto Picasso's The Actor, a large, Rose-period painting that was painted in winter 1904-1905. The accident resulted in an irregular vertical tear of about six inches in length in the lower right-hand corner.

The painting was taken immediately to the Museum's paintings conservation studio for assessment and treatment. Fortunately, the damage did not occur in a focal point of the composition, and the curatorial and conservation staffs fully expect that the repair—which will take place in the coming weeks—will be unobtrusive. The painting will be displayed, as planned, in the forthcoming exhibition Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art—among some 250 works by Picasso drawn from the Museum's collection—that will be on view from April 27 through August 1, 2010.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) painted The Actor on an unusually large canvas (77-1/4 x 45-3/8 inches) that already had another painting on it. It inaugurated Picasso's shift from the Blue-period world of tattered beggars and blind musicians to the Rose-period imagery of itinerant acrobats dressed in costumes taken from the commedia dell'arte. The Actor has been displayed prominently ever since it was given to The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Thelma Chrysler Foy in 1952, and has been included in many major exhibitions of Picasso's work in Europe and America.

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