20 March 1923: The Arts Club of Chicago hosts the opening of Pablo Picasso‘s first United States showing, entitled Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso, becoming an early proponent of modern art in the United States. (Source)
Arts Club of Chicago is a private club and public exhibition space located in the Near North Side community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States, a block east of the Magnificent Mile, that exhibits international contemporary art. It was founded in 1916, inspired by the success of the Art Institute of Chicago‘s handling of the Armory Show. Its founding was viewed as a statement that art had become an important component of civilized urban life. The Arts Club is said to have been pro-Modernist from its founding. The Club strove to break new ground with its shows, rather than collect the works of established artists as the Art Institute does.
The club presented Pablo Picasso‘s first United States showing. In addition, the 1951 exhibition by Jean Dubuffet and his “Anticultural Positions” lecture at the Arts Club were tremendous influences on what would become the mid-1960s Imagist movement. Another important presentation in the history of the Arts Club was the Fernand Léger showing of Le Ballet Mecanique.
The Club’s move in 1997 to its current location at 201 E. Ontario Street was not without controversy because the club demolished its former interior space designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and moved only the central staircase to the new gallery space. However, the new space is 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2), which is 7,000 square feet (650 m2) larger than the old space. (Source)