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Meet the Author: Patricia Balton Stratton

at The Newberry - Near North Side

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Near North Side, Downtown/Loop
60 W Walton St
Btwn N Clark & N Dearborn Streets
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Ruggles Hall
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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 18 and older
Average Class Size: 14

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Meet the Author: Patricia Balton Stratton, The Chicago Picasso: A Point of Departure

An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought – Pablo Picasso

It has been a full half-century since the famous Chicago Picasso, the soaring steel sculpture designed by the century’s best-known artist, has put its iconic stamp on Chicago’s downtown. Despite the sculpture’s immediately identifiable profile and its profound identification with the city it calls home, the meaning of and story behind this magnificent piece of public art has never fully been told—until now.
Relying on personal correspondence and conversation, exclusive research, and a command of the historic and cultural contexts of the sculpture, art historian Patricia Stratton tells the story of the Chicago Picasso in a lively, informative, yet erudite style that will appeal both to historians of the twentieth century’s most important artist, and to Chicago natives and tourists alike. Some of the issues explored by the author include:
  • The identity of the woman who served as the model for the sculpture’s mysterious, oddly canine face
  • The politics behind bringing the sculpture to the city and the unusual public/private partnership that accomplished the deed
  • The outlandish, often puzzled reaction from the public and the political and cultural fallout in the media and public discourse
  • The sculpture’s slow accretion of iconic status via public protests, history, and popular culture
The Chicago Picasso: A Point of Departure, whose release is timed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the sculpture’s unveiling in August 1967, serves as an accessible and fascinating guide to one of the world’s best-loved public works and a moving testament to the generosity and brilliance of the great Pablo Picasso.

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If the seminar fails to reach a minimum of seven registrations before the early registration deadline (one week before the first day of the term), the seminar will be canceled and all participants will be fully refunded. The instructor is required to teach the seminar if it reaches seven registrations prior to the early registration deadline. In some cases, a seminar may be offered with fewer than seven registrations at the option of the instructor.


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School: The Newberry

The Newberry

The Newberry is home to a world-class collection of books, manuscripts, maps, music, and other handmade and printed materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas. The collections span many centuries and feature items such as illuminated medieval manuscripts, rare early...

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