The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma

“Picasso’s Guernica (tapestry) and other Collections”


In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, Guernica, a small town in the Basque country, was bombed by Nazi German supporters of Spain’s Nationalists. In response, Pablo Picasso painted his depiction of the carnage, and the painting became one of his most famous works.

“Guernica” was later housed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Picasso stipulated that it should be taken to Spain if the country was democratized. It was finally ceded to Spain in 1981, six years after the death of the dictator Gen. Francisco, and is now permanently housed in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.

As “Guernica” gained a reputation, Picasso discovered it was too fragile to travel, so he allowed three tapestry copies to be made. Though of different color tones — brown and black instead of the original black and gray — the copies have the same disturbing visual impact, expressing the artist’s desire for peace and true democracy to be brought to his country; till Sept. 4.

The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Gunma no Mori, 992-1 Watanuki Takasaki, Gunma; 20-35 min. by bus from East Exit of Takasaki Station, JR Joetsu Shinkansen or JR Nagano Shinkansen. 9:30 a.m. — 5 p.m. ¥300. Closed Mon, open July 18 and Aug 15, closed July 19. www.mmag.gsn.ed.jp.