Woman Ironing | Pablo Picasso | Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa
Past exhibition

Selections from the Thannhauser Collection

10.02.2001 - 02.17.2002

The Thannhauser Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art provides an appropriate introduction to the Guggenheim's holdings of 20th-century Modernism. The original 1978 bequest came from German-born dealer and collector Justin K. Thannhauser and was augmented by additional gifts from his widow, Hilde, in 1981 and 1991. Together, these donations comprise an extensive suite of masterpieces that expanded the Guggenheim collection's historical and stylistic range, adding works by late 19th- and early 20th-century innovators such as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh.

With a sphere of influence centered in the flourishing artistic capital of Paris, the emergence of this rebellious avant-garde in the late 19th century made many groundbreaking 20th-century developments possible, such as the purely abstract, or "non-objective," painting in which the Guggenheim collection is particularly rich. Focusing on still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, this thematic installation of Thannhauser works provides a unique view of an important collection that rarely travels.

Thannhauser was an important figure in the development and dissemination of Modern art in Europe. His father, art dealer Heinrich Thannhauser, founded the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser in Munich, which presented celebrated Impressionist and Post-Impressionist exhibitions as well as the first large retrospective of Picasso's work.

Justin succeeded his father in the management of the gallery, expanding it to include a branch in Lucerne and later shifting its activities to Berlin and then Paris. Upon the outbreak of World War II, he fled Europe and moved to New York, where he continued to expand his personal collection and to operate his business. Before returning to Europe in 1971, Thannhauser decided that an important core of his collection should remain in the United States.


Pablo Picasso
Woman Ironing (La Repasseuse), primavera de 1904
Oil on canvas
116,2 x 73 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection
Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser