For the grand opening, organizers will kick things off with plenty of pomp and circumstance. Museum president Joseph Borrow and executive director George Bolge will host the dedication ceremony at 10:30 a.m. in front of the main entrance; nationally syndicated radio talk-jock Charles Osgood is also scheduled to make an appearance. After all the ribbon-cutting hoopla, a series of kids' events will run from 3 to 5 p.m., and a string quartet from the Symphony of the Americas will play at 6 p.m.
Within the museum itself, the first exhibit, beginning opening day and continuing through April 15, will be "Picasso: Passion and Creation -- The Last Thirty Years." The show primarily contains works from late in the career of the father of cubism, who died in 1973 at the age of 91. Every medium Pablo Picasso used is represented, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, linocuts, and engravings.
Picasso is not the only artist to be featured at the new facility, though. Opening day also marks the premier of all the permanent exhibits at the museum, including the Dr. and Mrs. John J. Mayers Gallery of Modern Masters, which includes works by Degas and Matisse. And the museum houses a photography collection, with prints by such luminaries as Walker Evans and Ansel Adams, and separate galleries for African and pre-Columbian art and English ceramics.
The grand opening notwithstanding, the museum is still a work in progress. If you go, mind the construction along Palmetto Park Road, which should end sometime this year with the completion of the new art school -- where the next Pablo Picasso may learn his or her craft.