Tacoma peace activist Fr. Bill Bichsel has donated an original Picasso drawing to the University of Washington, Tacoma
The University of Washington, Tacoma now has an original Picasso drawing hanging in its library, courtesy of Tacoma peace activist Fr. Bill “Bix” Bichsel. In a ceremony last Monday that honored Fr. Bichsel’s life and commitment to peace and justice, Picasso’s 1953 line drawing “La Visage de la Paix (The Face of Peace)” was offered by the Jesuit priest on behalf of the reconciliation group he led to Japan in 2009. But how that group got hold of the artwork, valued at $60,000, is a result of a peace connection stretching back to the artist himself.
“We’d gone to Japan in 2009 to express our sorrow for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” explained Fr. Bichsel, who’d organized the group of 18 mostly-Puget Sound travelers on what they called ‘The Journey of Repentance.’ “When we first got there we were met by the Japanese Peace Committee. There was a lot of gift exchanging, as is common in Japan. We just brought over simple things like dream-catchers and scarves. But they gave us this tremendous piece of art. We didn’t realize just what it was at first.”
What it was, in fact, was a Picasso original. Read more »