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When Harry Met Pablo

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
Independence, MO

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CDT

Truman and Picasso were contemporaries, both shaped by and shapers of the great events of the twentieth century. In most ways, they couldn’t have been more different. Picasso was a communist, and probably the only thing Harry Truman hated more than communists was modern art. Picasso was an indifferent father, a womanizer, and a millionaire. Truman was utterly devoted to his family and, despite his fame, far from a wealthy man. How did they come to be shaking hands in front of Picasso’s studio in the south of France?

Truman author Matthew Algeo retraces the Trumans’ 1958 Mediterranean vacation and visited the places they went with Picasso, including Picasso’s villa, Picasso’s ceramics studio in Vallauris, and Château Grimaldi, a museum in Antibes.

A rigorous history with a heartwarming center, When Harry Met Pablo intertwines the biographies of Truman and Picasso, the history of modern art, and 20th-century American politics, but at its core it is the touching story of two old men who meet for the first time and realize they have more in common—and are more alike—than they ever imagined.


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