Happy 50th Birthday to the Chicago Picasso

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Chicago Picasso

In 1967, Mayor Richard J. Daley stood in the courtyard of the Chicago Civic Center and unveiled a fifty-foot tall metal structure, a public art piece designed by Pablo Picasso and given to the people of Chicago. While initially met with scorn and confusion, the sculpture has, over the years, become an iconic and admired feature of downtown Chicago.

This collection of clips taken from the Media Burn Archive features Studs Terkel, Mayor Harold Washington, and many others. From the absurd and imaginative to the disturbed and derisive, these perspectives show that while the sculpture’s location has remained unchanged, its place in the cultural and political life of Chicago has been anything but settled.

Tomorrow, Tuesday August 8th at noon, the city is putting on a restaging of the unveiling that took place fifty years ago at Daley Plaza. More information on that event is available here.

Studs Terkel’s audio recording from the ceremony and his radio program on the ceremony in 1997 have been preserved and made available by the Studs Terkel Radio Archive. Here are links to the audio recording and the radio program.



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