Cover of The Chicago Picasso
The Chicago Picasso
A Point of Departure

The Chicago Picasso made its debut in downtown Chicago in August 1967 and was immediately recognized as a supreme achievement in monumental sculpture and civic art. The capstone to Picasso’s long and fabled career as a sculptor and modernist, the sculpture has defined the city of Chicago for generations and stands as a peerless example of the union of modern art and civic architecture.


Art historian Patricia Stratton tells the inside story of the sculpture for the first time in The Chicago Picasso: A Point of Departure, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary celebration of the famous unveiling. Relying on exclusive archival interviews and extensive research, all the controversial possibilities of the sculpture’s inspiration are explored. The Chicago Picasso: A Point of Departure tells the full story of monumental achievement in all of its historical and artistic glory.

About the Author

Patricia Balton Stratton was born in Cincinnati and received both her undergraduate and graduate education at Northwestern University, where her masters thesis in art history concentrated on the acquisition, construction, and iconography of the Chicago Picasso. She served as a docent and guide for a number of regional art museums, as well as a volunteer and board member of the Chicago Public School Art Society (later known as Art Resources in Teaching) that was an affiliate of the School of the Art Institute. She divides her time between Chicago and Naples, Florida. Her daughter and four grandchildren live in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Listen to a podcast interview with the author here.

 8 x 10 inches, 136 pages
March 17, 2017 
ISBN-13: 978-099744939-6


"Patricia Stratton has told the story of the Picasso brilliantly--the artist, the architects, the civic ambition, the negotiations, the design and fabrication, the ownership, the controversy--all the elements that lie behind this most famous of all Chicago sculptures and its transformation from drawing and maquette to a monumental 162 tons of Cor-Ten steel standing 50 feet high." 
--John W. McCarter, Jr.