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The Picasso Effect

In conjunction with the major exhibition "Picasso and Chicago," the Art Institute celebrates this giant of the 20th-century art with special installations throughout the galleries.

Art © 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

While some of our iconic canvases by Picasso move from their home in the Modern Wing to the special exhibition in Regenstein Hall, we are thrilled to welcome two masterpieces by the artist from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Picasso’s emblematic Self-Portrait (1906) and his monumental Three Musicians (1921). Both works, presented within the museum’s permanent collection of European modern art, will offer fresh and exciting new dialogues. A third painting from Philadelphia, Old Woman with Gloves (1901), once owned by legendary Chicago collector Arthur Jerome Eddy, will be included in Picasso and Chicago.

Nine focused installations from curatorial departments across the museum delve into Picasso’s wide-ranging inspirations and those who drew inspiration from him.

The Artist and the Poet
Galleries 124–127

Sparked by Picasso’s love of poetry, this presentation offers 110 works on paper surveying the myriad ways visual artists have been inspired by or collaborated with poets in the 20th century. Learn more.

Picasso, Paris, and African Art
Gallery 137

Comparable to works once owned by Picasso, these African artworks are a catalyst for considering Picasso’s collecting taste and the early development of an international African art market. Learn more.

Picasso and American Art
Gallery 271

This group of works examines how Picasso’s radical artistic innovations inspired American artists in the early decades of the 20th century to rethink pictorial form and space. Learn more.

Picasso and Spanish Golden-Age Painting
Galleries 206, 211, and 212A

With works by such artists as El Greco and Velázquez, this installation focuses on Picasso’s connection to Spain’s artistic past—a connection that was often political and at times personal. Learn more.

Picasso and Cézanne
Gallery 246

This presentation features works by Cézanne, whom Picasso saw as “a father for all of us.” Learn more.

Picasso and Man Ray
Gallery 10

This selection of photograms by Man Ray offers insight into the two artists’ friendship and artistic exchanges from the early 1920s, when they first met in Paris, through the next two decades. Learn more.

Picasso and Ancient Greek Vases
Gallery 151

A selection of Greek vases explores the influence of the classical theme of the wine god Dionysos and his entourage on Picasso. Learn more.

Sculpture and the Architectural Frame
Gallery 24

This exhibition explores architectural engagement with sculpture from Beaux-Arts monuments, Picasso’s piece in Daley Plaza, and other seminal works of mid-century public art to postmodern inversions of structure and decor. Learn more.

The Mark of Modernism: Published Picasso
Ryerson and Burnham Libraries

Books of classic literature, collections of Surrealist poetry, and art journals reveal Picasso’s prolific work as both a collaborator and creator of illustrated books, magazines, and other ephemera. Learn more.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the revolutionary Armory Show, where Picasso's work was first introduced to American museum audiences, Gallery 391 will showcase the works in the museum’s modern art collection that were displayed at the original 1913 exhibition. This presentation will be complemented by a special online exhibition, which details the groundbreaking show’s history and legacy in Chicago, as well as a display of archival materials in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, opening April 23, that offers a glimpse of the museum 100 years ago.

The museum will also offer a full slate of programs that bring Picasso to life. Highlights include a lecture by Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker and a symposium featuring Michael FitzGerald, Trinity College, Hartford; Janine Mileaf, Arts Club of Chicago; and Diana Widmaier Picasso, an expert on the artist’s sculpture.

See the full list of Picasso events.