CHICAGO (CBS) — Bright, sunny skies shone down on Daley Plaza on Tuesday as Chicago celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic Picasso sculpture in the heart of the Loop.
A gift from artist Pablo Picasso in 1967, countless visitors stare at the untitled sculpture and wonder; but how many people actually know what it is?READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Breezy On Tuesday
Ask someone passing by the Picasso, and you’re sure to get plenty of guesses that it’s some type of animal; an elephant, a horse, a giraffe, a bird, a lion, a dog, or – most commonly – a baboon.
Of course, there are some more off-the-wall interpretations. One man who stopped to look at the Picasso on Tuesday guessed it’s a violin that has been hit by lightning.
Eric Keune, design director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architecture firm that convinced Picasso to create the landmark sculpture, said it was inspired in large part by Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque.READ MORE: Proposed Laws Would Improve Privacy Protections For Sex Crime Victims In Illinois
Keune also shared a little-known secret: viewing the Picasso from just the right angle reveals the profile of a woman.
“You can really see the profile of her face, and the profile of her lips and chin when you come at it from the back,” from an approximately 45-degree angle, according to Keune. “It’s also a combination of her profile – these are derived from sketches that he did – along with their Afghan hound, Kabul.”
City officials planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Picasso on Tuesday by restaging the original 1967 unveiling. The party is happening a week early; the actual unveiling was on Aug. 15, 1967.MORE NEWS: Suburban Man Says Unlike Others, He's Had Plenty Of Contact With IDES -- But It's Been Of No Help
The Picasso was met with mixed reviews when it was first unveiled, but has become a popular symbol of Chicago, often donning hats or helmets of Chicago’s professional sports teams when they make the playoffs. Generations of Chicago children also have used it as a makeground playground slide when visiting downtown.