On February 13th, a special exhibit chronicling the relationship and works of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso opened at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). A larger, more extensive exhibit including these works is also now available on the Web thanks, in part to software from SealedMedia, which offers a critical layer of security to the online collection. The English language version of www.matissepicasso.org site has now gone live to view the 700 paintings, 6,000 drawings, 250+ photos and 6,000 press articles that comprise the entire collection.
In conjunction with the private sponsorship grant of LMVH, matissepicasso.org is supervised by Anne Baldassarie, curator at the Picasso Museum of Paris and is managed by the Reunion des musees nationaux (RMN), which collaborates with over 30 institutions in the management, maintenance and exhibition of museum art. The site was developed to bring the exhibit to the public but specifically as a means to offer high-resolution versions of the works to the art research and teaching communities. In order for these high-resolution images to be made available on the Web, the RMN needed to assure the estates, Picasso administration and the Matisse succession, which still own the respective rights to the collection, that they could be shared on the Web safely and securely. Of particular concern was the issue of piracy, that some users with access to high quality versions of these famous works would use them for illegal merchandising through posters, t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.