Open House Chicago: The Arts Club

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I was delighted to explore Chicago this weekend with my former student Melody at Open House Chicago, a two-day free event where you can go inside over 200 buildings, many of which are usually closed to the public. Both Saturday and Sunday it rained like cats and dogs, but that didn’t deter us. In fact, it seemed like lots of people were intrepid enough to venture out.

We started at The Arts Club, simply because it was centrally located and I’d never heard of it. I learned that The Arts Club began after the 1913 Armory show came to Chicago. For the most part, people panned the art show which featured modern art that was quite shocking and outrageous. They didn’t appreciate Duchamp’s upside down urinal, which he entitled Fountain.


Yet more progressive art lovers did embrace the modern revolutionary art and they banded together to make sure Chicago did not miss out on the avant garde. That’s how the Arts Club began and it’s continued to bring modern art to the city.


At the Arts Club, Fall 2017

Today the Arts Club is at 210 E. Ontario Street and Tuesday through Friday they welcome the public to their galleries on the first floor. Only members are allowed upstairs, but for the Open House we were allowed up.

So the hoi poloi could wander around the meeting area and dining room where an eclectic mix of art was on display.


  1. What is your opinion of the art shown here?
  2. What is your opinion of modern art?
  3. Who is your favorite modern artist?

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