by Anastasia Karpova Tinari
The Arts Club of Chicago was founded a hundred years ago with a mission to promote Modernism, preceding like-minded institutions such as the Société Anonyme, Inc., Barnes Collection and Museum of Modern Art in New York, and was the first in Chicago to exhibit works by Brancusi, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg, among many others.
The Club’s interdisciplinary member programming has featured an incredible array of the avant-garde: literary figures Margaret Anderson and Harriet Monroe, Gertrude Stein, Carl Sandburg; musicians Igor Stravinsky Prokofiev, Leonard Bernstein, John Cage; and dancers Adolph Bohm, Ruth Page, and Merce Cunningham. Yet through the years the visual arts exhibition program has remained at the institution’s core. Its original mission expanded as Modernism gained acceptance, and Chicago’s museums embraced contemporary art, but The Arts Club has always remained forward-looking and interdisciplinary in its approach. Since 2000 alone, the Club’s galleries have hosted impressive installations by internationally renowned artists including Pedro Cabrita Reis, Josiah McElheny, Marcel Broodthaers, Marlene Dumas, and many more.