Picasso Sculpture: For Kids

Pablo Picasso. Guitar. Paris, January–February 1914

Ferrous sheet metal and wire, 30 1/2 x 13 3/4 x 7 5/8" (77.5 x 35 x 19.3 cm). Gift of the artist. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Narrator: Can you tell what this sculpture is made of?

Most artists carved or molded sculptures from solid, heavy materials like stone, or clay or wood. But Picasso cut a sheet of metal to make this guitar. It doesn’t look exactly like a real guitar. But the way he arranged all the pieces allows us to see one. What do you think this guitar would sound like? Maybe this?

Narrator: Look at the round tube in the middle. On a real guitar, this is where the sound hole is. But this hole is actually a metal tube, and it sticks out instead of in! It’s as if Picasso turned part of the guitar inside out!

When people first saw this they were confused. If it’s a sculpture, why is it hanging on the wall? Just what was this? Picasso answered simply: “It is el guitar – The Guitar!”

Look around this gallery—can you find any other musical instruments? Imagine what sounds you might hear if they were played!

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