A century ago, in 1913, the Art Institute of Chicago became the first art museum in the country to present the work of a young Spaniard who would become the preeminent artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso. This February the museum celebrates the special 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago by bringing together over 250 of the finest examples of the artist's paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and ceramics from private collections in the city, as well as from the museum's collection, for the first large-scale Picasso exhibition organized by the museum in almost 30 years.
After first showing artworks by Picasso in the 1913 Armory Show, the museum began collecting his works in the early 1920s with two figural drawings, Study of a Seated Man (1905) and Sketches of a Young Woman and a Man (1904/05); in 1926 the museum welcomed The Old Guitarist (late 1903–early 1904) as a generous gift of Frederic Clay and Helen Birch Bartlett. Over time, the collection has expanded to include paintings such as the classically inspired Mother and Child (1921) and the surrealist Red Armchair (1931); landmark sculptures including the Cubist Head of a Woman (Fernande) (1909) and a maquette for Picasso's largest three-dimensional work, Monument for Richard J. Daley Plaza (1965); and works on paper such as Woman Washing Her Feet (1944) and impressions of The Frugal Meal (1904), one of only three examples in the world of the famous Blue Period etching actually printed in blue ink.
Featuring such diverse and significant works from the museum's own exceptional holdings and from collections throughout the city, Picasso and Chicago not only charts the full gamut of Picasso's artistic career but also chronicles the growth of Chicago as a place for modern art and the storied moments of overlap that have contributed to the vibrant interest in Picasso from 1913 to today. Adding to the celebration of this eminent artist and his connection to our city are special installations throughout the galleries as well as a host of exceptional programming.
Picasso and Chicago is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago.
Lead Corporate Sponsor:
Major funding provided by the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Annual support provided by the Exhibitions Trust: Goldman Sachs, Kenneth and Anne Griffin, Thomas and Margot Pritzker, the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation, the Trott Family Foundation, and the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.
15 hours 27 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—In 1963 Melvin Edwards began Lynch Fragments, a series of welded steel assemblages made in response to the tumultuous social climate of the Civil Rights movement. The title of the series evokes the horrifying images of racist mob violence, yet Edwards’s works distill the subject into a powerful sculptural language, fusing modernist abstraction with a sense of personal and collective history.
Afrophoenix No. 1—one of the earliest objects from the series—exemplifies how the artist physically transformed found objects and brought them together in poetically suggestive, tension-filled compositions. Here the formal arrangement of steel elements evokes an equestrian bridle and bit. Chains, hammers, nails, spikes, and screws magnify the sculpture’s associative power, recalling implements of labor and torture. At the same the title references the mythological phoenix—alluding to death, rebirth, and transformation.
See Afrophoenix No. 1 (1963) by Melvin Edwards in Gallery 289D.
19 hours 52 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry
With their plush, inviting, and varied textures, the velvets featured in this exhibition showcase the diversity of modern velvet as well as the effects of industry on its production. As industrial innovations at the turn of the 19th century allowed for faster production and encouraged the use of less costly materials, designers and manufacturers of velvet sought to maintain its association with wealth, luxury, and splendor.
Learn how this elegant fabric has inspired designers for centuries, with a wide range of examples from the 19th century to present day—closing March 19.
1 day 6 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Just like the museum's collection comes from artists around the world, so does the Museum Shop’s assortment of products. We source exclusive products from artisans that are inspired by the cultures, mediums, and techniques represented in our museum collection. View our assortment of unique items from India.