Home #Hwoodtimes ARTWORK OF THE WEEK


Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Owl (Hibou or Gros Oiseau visage noir), 1951, glazed and incised earthenware, edition 7/25, 21 ¼  × 18 inches. Gift of Gwendolyn Weiner for the contribution of Board and staff toward the success of the 75th Anniversary Gala, 2014.74.

Owl is one of Pablo Picasso’s largest and most important ceramic sculptures. Although Picasso’s work in ceramics was considered tangential to his paintings and sculptures, it is a genre that is receiving greater appreciation for its unique character. Residing in the south of France from the mid-1940s until his death in 1973, Picasso took great interest in the ceramic artisan traditions in the region and devoted himself to working with the local potters. He embraced the commercial nature of pottery production as a means of circulating his own artistic creations to broader audiences.

Owls intrigued Picasso and appear in different guises in his paintings, drawings, and sculptures; he even kept an owl for a while in his Paris studio. In this ceramic with black-and-white decoration, he transformed a tall, two-handled vase into a stout bird with outspread wings. The high neck of the vase became the owl’s head, with a black beak and two large round eyes, and the handles became its wings. On its chest Picasso painted and incised a human face, with a smile that accords with the overall lighthearted theme.

Michael C. McMillen

Michael C. McMillen (American, born 1946), Psycho Tower (The 2nd Observatory), 1993, mixed media assemblage, 103 ¼ x 28 ½ x 29 ¾ inches. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Contemporary Art Council, 1996, 3-1996.

Los Angeles-based artist Michael C. McMillen builds assemblages made of scavenged materials and artificially aged scraps of wood to convey memories and images of the past. His large-scale architectural sculptures transform fundamental elements of buildings—windows, doors, ladders—into whimsical environments of implied narrative and endless possibilities.

Psycho Tower suggests an overgrown childhood playhouse. The artist describes the work as a metaphor for life: “Architectural metaphors are always in my work. I suppose I see stairs as a metaphor for life itself in that one hopes there’s some kind of ascension as one ages, and windows and doors signify the beyond and suggest a glimpse of another world. Hallways and corridors are about choice. You can’t know where the hallway you’ve chosen will take you until you get there, so they’re also about risk and mystery.”


The Bradford W. Bates Vault Museum Design Store 
reopening just in time for holiday shopping!

We are delighted to announce that Bradford W. Bates Vault design store in the Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion will be reopening for business on Friday, Nov. 27 at 10:00 a.m.

Inside you will discover some of most exquisite and unique merchandise to be found in the Palm Springs area. Books, clothing, glassware, jewelry—it’s all here. And remember that museum members receive a 10% discount; President’s Circle and above levels of membership receive 15% off!

Please be advised that COVID procedures will be in place including mandatory wearing of face masks and social distancing. Additionally, store will also be operating at 25% capacity and will not be accepting cash. Regretfully, the Jim Isermann exhibition will not be available for viewing.

The Vault hours of operation are:
Thursday–Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


We’ve added a number of Palm Springs Art Museum signature publications to our website that you can order for holiday gifts!

In addition to books on the Weiner Family collection, our 75th Anniversary, and the Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist exhibition, we’re featuring Gerald Clarke: Falling Rock, a companion piece to our recent exhibition surveying three decades of work by this contemporary Native American artist.

Check out the publications here!


 Spacious Patio Dining, Every Wednesday-Sunday

Persimmon Bistro & Wine Bar has reopened with an updated menu and wine list!

Although the museum is currently closed and preparing to reopen soon, you can still enjoy Persimmon Bistro in the sculpture garden.

To ensure your comfort and safety, the Bistro provides contactless menus, and only patio seating is available.

Email the Bistro to book your spot.

Check out the menu here

Persimmon Bistro hours are:
Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday – Closed


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