Picasso in Tampa

Bust of a Woman at USF

USF officials looking at the model for Bust of a Woman. Photo Credit: Digital Collections, Tampa Library, University of South Florida.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pablo Picasso created a number of designs with the intention of having them executed on a monumental scale. Working with Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar, several of the models were successfully constructed into full scale works in various locations around the world. In 1971 officials at the University of South Florida announced that one of these designs, titled Bust of a Woman would be construction on their Tampa campus. Composed of flat planes of sand-blasted concrete, it would be the largest sculpture in the world – standing 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide, weighing approximately 300 tons. Architect Paul Rudolph was brought on as a consultant for the project, and when funding for the monumental sculpture fell through and production halted, he inquired after the original model. Picasso’s atelier created a duplicate which Rudolph purchased for his private collection and from this model, a small edition of exacting replicas was produced by the Collections Gallery.