21 April 2011
Last updated at 10:05
A selection of ceramics by Pablo Picasso have gone on permanent display at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery in Leicester. The pieces are part of a private collection owned by Lord and Lady Attenborough.
The free exhibition includes plates, jugs, tiles and ceramic figures, dating from the 1950s and 1960s, which reflect Picasso's unique style in three-dimensional form. More than 80,000 people visited a temporary exhibition of the ceramics at the gallery in 2007.
Richard and Sheila Attenborough bought their first ceramic pieces in 1954 during a visit to the Madoura pottery at Vallauris in the south of France, where Picasso was working. Exhibition curator Dr Marilyn McCully said: "They had the eye to see that these were extraordinary".
"That first year, 1954, led to annual visits where they would buy, their children would buy little things to give as gifts, and then that continued later with acquisitions made at auction," Dr McCully said.
Picasso moved to the French coastal area at the age of 65 following World War II. The Mediterranean coast, with its artistic heritage, inspired his work and prompted memories of his native home of Malaga in Spain.
The majority of the Attenboroughs’ pieces are Editions and Original Impressions – multiple works that Picasso insisted the pottery should produce and sell inexpensively. Their collection now numbers 150 pieces, about 40 of which form the new exhibition.
In 2007 the Attenboroughs announced the collection would be entrusted to the City of Leicester in memory of their daughter and granddaughter who died during the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Lord Attenborough was educated in the city and his father was principal of University College.