Now on display in front of the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza are eight-foot-tall letters that spell out P I C A S S O, promoting the Art Institute of Chicago exhibit - Picasso and Chicago which runs from Wednesday, February 20, 2013 through Sunday May 12, 2013. The Picasso and Chicago exhibit at the Art Institute Chicago helps celebrate the special 100-year relationship between Picasso and Chicago by bringing together over 250 of the finest examples of the artist's paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and ceramics from private collections in the city, as well as from the museum's collection, for the first large-scale Picasso exhibition organized by the museum in almost 30 years.
The iconic sculpture by Pablo Picasso was dedicated on August 15, 1967. It is 50 feet tall and weighs 162 short tons and was commissioned by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center in 1963 at a cost of $351,959.17.
Although Picasso never explained what the sculpture was intended to represent, it may have been inspired by a French woman, Sylvette David, now known as Lydia Corbett, who posed for Picasso in 1954. Then 19 years old and living in Vallauris, France, Picasso, who was struck by her high ponytail and long neck. "He made many portraits of her. At the time, most people thought he was drawing the actress Brigitte Bardot. But in fact, he was inspired by [Corbett]," Picasso's grandson Olivier Widmaier Picasso told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2004.
The eight-foot-tall letters were produced and installed by Chicago Scenic a Chicago company, located at 1315 N. North Branch Street.
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