In the current political climate, Malaga’s Colleción del Museo Rusa, or Russian Museum Collection, has changed focus. During our visit in September, it was exhibiting works by local boy Picasso, and other international artists.
The museo is located in the Tabacalera, the colloquial name by which The Royal Tobacco Factory of Malaga is known. Unfortunately it’s not particularly well located, and was a 40-minute walk from our hotel.
The entrance fee for the temporary exhibitions was €9.50 in total as one of us was over 65. Passing toilets and lockers, an escalator took us up to the first-floor exhibition. Whilst all the Russian art has been removed, there was a brief history of Russia at the beginning, and the gift shop had Russian-themed items.
The exhibition, Incessant Picasso: Freedom and Life, had various sections for the 350 exhibits and began with sketches of Francois, his partner, and his second wife, Jaqueline. Complimentary audio guides provided information on each room which told the story of Picasso’s life and works. One section had lots of small black and white sketches depicting various aspects of a bullfight, one of his great passions. Another had several black and white pictures of two naked women which were all subtly different, and we ended up playing ‘spot the difference’.
Exhibits were clearly labelled in both Spanish and English and apart from one woman who was doing a whirlwind visit, we appeared to be the only visitors. The route was easy to follow, and English-speaking staff were in each room.
There was a second exhibition, Picasso Draftsman of Words, which contained books he had illustrated.
We spent just over an hour in the exhibition which had a few bench seats to sit on, but legs were becoming weary especially after the walk, so we were pleased to find the café open as it was rather lovely and peaceful with lots of white plants and furniture. Revitalised with café con leche (€3 for two), we whizzed through the gift shop and headed past a closed mobile catering van in the courtyard and into the adjacent museum – Museo Automovilistico y de la Moda featuring cars and fashion.