For our 2019 ‘Friends and Family’ issue, we asked eight families—from multigenerational clans to collaborators who lean on each other like kin—to share what they’re giving and asking for this holiday season. Contributing editor Karin Nelson sat down with each group to paint a picture of their relationships and what they’re getting up to this year.
Growing up, Diana Widmaier Picasso’s favorite haunt was the French auction house Drouot. “I loved that ambience. All these weird people looking for weird things,” she explains, recalling one particular lot, a patient’s couch that belonged to the psychiatrist Jacques Lacan. “He was a friend of my grandfather’s. Whenever anyone in the family had a problem, he suggested they go see Lacan.” Widmaier Picasso never met Pablo, whose affair with his model Marie-Thérèse Walter resulted in the birth of her mother, Maya, but his presence looms large. As an art historian and curator, Widmaier Picasso spent years studying the Old Masters, but eventually surrendered to family ties. She has just released Picasso: The Impossible Collection (Assouline), a compendium of 100 career-defining works by the legendary artist, including paintings and drawings that he kept until the end of his life. When she’s not poring over his oeuvre, Widmaier Picasso serves as the chief artistic officer of Mene, a jewelry line she cofounded three years ago; a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois’s estate, the Easton Foundation, comes just in time for Christmas. “All my friends are going to be covered in gold,” she says. As for her, the best gift she can imagine is being immersed in nature with her 2½-year-old daughter, Luna. Widmaier Picasso’s love for the outdoors was born from studying the landscapes of John Constable and Peter Paul Rubens, and fostered by her father, a naval officer who would take the family on sailing trips. This month, she is planning an excursion, perhaps to Italy, with Luna. “Somewhere that combines sea, mountains, and museums,” she says.