Chicago Loves New Picasso Exhibit

You might think that we’ve had our fill of Picasso here at Chicago Detours with our discussion of the Chicago sculpture on our Loop Interior Architecture Tour. This is definitely not the case, even for a Paris-ophile like me. Paris is practically exploding with his work. When I was at grad school at the Sorbonne, aka University of Paris, the joke was that an art gallery or museum wasn’t bona fide if it didn’t have a Picasso on display. Now Chicago is brimming with his work with the new Picasso exhibit at the Art Institute. When tour guests on our Inside the Loop walking tour started bringing up bits and pieces of the Picasso and Chicago exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, as the tour guide I was eager to visit.  So I took some of Jenna’s advice and invited my beau along to the museum.

The Picasso Exhibit is Huge

Picasso exhibit Art Institute of ChicagoIf you’re a read-everything-and-ponder-some-artwork-twice kind of museum goer like me, be prepared to spend some time in this exhibition. We were there for over two hours and barely glanced at the regular collections. The magnitude of this Picasso exhibit is impressive with a vast scope of his life works in all manner of styles and mediums. At first, it seems like a gallery of his lovers’ faces, or maybe just a chronology of artistic movements. But this exhibition goes so much deeper, with the life of a 20th century artist with all the ups and downs of his history.

Weeping Woman I

It tIt’s not just he size of the Picasso exhibit. It hit me there just how much Picasso was truly a man of his time. Picasso’s artwork reveals a sincere connection to major events of his century, like the “Weeping Women” who decry the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War.

Picasso’s Chicago Ties

The Art Institute’s Chicago and Picasso exhibit isn’t just about the artist. We mustn’t overlook the former part of that title–it’s also about Chicago. While Picasso of course never came here, the Art Institute exhibition integrates the life of our city with that of the artist. At times, the exhibit reads as a history of the Art Institute itself as we follow the story of its Picasso acquisitions. Then in the last room, as in the first, we delve into The Chicago Picasso sculpture of Daley Plaza. I hope you’ll understand if I gloss over that. You can explore it on our own or with one of our passionate guides.

Chicago Picasso exhibit portrait 1922
Pablo Picasso, 1922 by Man Ray

An Eternal Legacy

The exhibition is merely one part of the museum-wide celebration of Pablo Picasso’s legacy and influence, which the Art Institute is calling The Picasso Effect. That means that they aren’t just showing you a bunch of work from Picasso himself. They also have special installations around the museum that elaborate upon both his inspirations and the works inspired by him. My favorites of these include the photography of Man Ray, which compelled Picasso to declare, “Painting is dead, finished.”

And yet, Picasso would continue to paint for many decades. But don’t take my word for it, have a look for yourself.  If you don’t mind a line, head over on Thursdays after 5 p.m. when entrance to the entire museum, including special exhibitions, is free.

— Elizabeth Tieri, Chicago Detours Tour Guide


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

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Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

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With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


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Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


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Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

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Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
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Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

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I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
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