Picasso’s ‘Le Tricorne’ bids farewell to Four Seasons in New York

Picasso's "Le Tricorne," a stage curtain measuring 19 feet by 20 feet, is shown in its former home at the Seagram Building in New York.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)
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A large-scale work by Pablo Picasso bade farewell to its longtime home at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York over the weekend. “Le Tricorne,” a piece that has resided at the restaurant since 1959, has been taken down to be cleaned, followed by shipment to its new home at the New York Historical Society, located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“Le Tricorne” -- which has been variously described as a tapestry and as a stage curtain -- is an epic-sized work that Picasso created in 1919 for a production of the same name by Sergei Diaghilev, head of the famed Ballets Russes. The piece stands 19 feet by 20 feet and technically belongs to the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

The conservancy said in a recent release that “Le Tricorne” is heading to the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Williamstown, Mass., for “some minor conservation and cleaning.”


The removal of the artwork was part of a legal settlement reached in June between the conservancy and the owner of the Seagram Building. The two parties had been fighting over the curtain’s future at the Four Seasons, which is located in the Seagram Building.

The Seagram Building wanted to take down the curtain in order to repair the wall behind it, setting off the legal fight. The conservancy said it wanted the curtain to stay at its place at the Four Seasons, but that there was no guarantee beyond the current lease.

As part of the settlement, the owner of the Seagram Building is paying for the conservation and both moves, said the conservancy.

The curtain was donated to the conservancy in 2005 by the company Vivendi, the former owner of the Seagram Building.

“Le Tricorne” was removed from its spot in what the conservancy said was a 12-hour operation.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT