CHICAGO (CBS) — Starting next Wednesday, visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago will get new insight into the special relationship that existed between Pablo Picasso and this city.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, early in his career, Chicago was instrumental in recognizing Picasso’s genius.

One hundred years ago, the Art Institute became the country’s first museum to present the young Spaniard’s revolutionary work.

Now a new exhibit, “Picasso and Chicago,” explores that relationship.

Curator Stephanie D’Alessandro said it’s no accident that Chicago recognized Picasso’s genius early on, since it was a vibrant city that embraced all things modern.

“Our architecture certainly led the way; and I think that bold vision, that interest in the new and the modern and the technologically interesting is something that Picasso was,” she said. “His personality was perfectly akin to that.”

The exhibit also explores what led to Picasso’s landmark gift to Chicago in 1967, the groundbreaking sculpture that still graces Daley Plaza.

Among the hundreds of Picasso works that will be on display at the Art Institute are some that are almost never seen by the public, and others on loan from collectors and other museums.

“Picasso and Chicago” opens to the public runs from Feb 20 through May 12.

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