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Jeff Mitchum Galleries Unveils Rare Portraits of Picasso in Secret World War II Studio

July 1, 2015 by  

Jeff Mitchum Galleries Unveils Rare Portraits of Picasso in Secret World War II Studio
Four rare portraits of Pablo Picasso as well as an additional group portrait, which all offer glimpses into the artist’s private life at the end of World War II, are now available at Jeff Mitchum Galleries

Shot by the late Richard Ham, the collection of portraits titled “Three Visits with Picasso” were taken by the young war photographer in the fall of 1944 to help garner positive admiration for the artist whose work had been labeled “decadent” by the Germans. With few photographs of Picasso during the War in existence, Jeff Mitchum Galleries is thrilled to display and offer the exclusive images in both their Las Vegas galleries inside Bellagio and MGM Grand.

“It’s amazing that such iconic and personal portraits of the world’s most recognized artist, Pablo Picasso, were hidden from the world for so long,” said renowned photographer Jeff Mitchum. “To exclusively represent Ham’s collection, not only does it make me feel a tremendous responsibility to preserve art and world history, but I am honored to make the artist proofs available to those who admire Picasso’s work and life.”

During his three visits, Ham had the pleasure of not only photographing Picasso in his secret studio, but engaging in conversations about different artists of the time, learning about his thoughts on the war, and sharing a lunch of tomato sandwiches. When Ham arrived for the final meeting and shared the portraits with Jean Cocteau, Picasso’s lifelong friend, he was told by a translator, “Mr. Cocteau thinks that these are the best shots of Picasso he has ever seen.”

Photographs of Picasso during the War are extremely hard to find, especially professional shots in such pristine condition, because few people knew of his whereabouts. The Germans had a dislike for Picasso’s political views such as those expressed in his painting “Guernica.” Therefore, he tended to keep a quiet profile and lived in seclusion. Now, more than 70 years later, these rare photographs will once again be on display and available to the public at Jeff Mitchum Galleries.

The portraits of Picasso come at a fortuitous time as Jeff Mitchum Galleries, Bellagio, is located next door to the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Arts, which is concurrently opening “Picasso ­ Creatures and Creativity.” Guests of the Bellaagio Gallery of Fine Arts can exit through Jeff Mitchum Galleries and view these stunning portraits to complete their Picasso experience.

For more information about the portraits of Picasso offered at Jeff Mitchum Galleries, contact either the Bellagio or MGM Grand gallery or email PicassoPortraits@JeffMitchum.com. Collectors or anyone interested in learning more about Richard Ham’s “Three Visits with Picasso” can read the galleries’ booklet available for download here.

  • Jeff Mitchum Galleries, Bellagio: 800.763.3074 / 702.693.4700
  • Jeff Mitchum Galleries, MGM Grand: 800.763.3074 Ext.12 / 702.304.0007

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