About the Collection

In 1922, six years after the founding of The Arts Club of Chicago, Exhibition Committee chair Alice Roullier submitted a report on the logic and aims of the organization’s visual-arts program.  Citing an intention to bring to Chicago “these examples of contemporary work which had come up for exhibition and active discussion elsewhere and which were most closely identified with what appears to be the Art of the 20th century in the making,” Roullier set out to explain how she hoped the Arts Club could become “a part of the contemporary evolution in art.” With Roullier’s vision as a perennial guide, the Arts Club has continued to embrace and champion contemporary art since its earliest days.

The Arts Club’s collection has been largely acquired through the exhibitions mounted in our galleries and close relationships with the artists over the years.  Works include pieces by such modern masters as Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Natalia Goncharova, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, Francis Picabia, and Pablo Picasso, among others. Recent contemporary acquisitions include Sigmar Polke, Peter Doig, Stephan Balkenhol, Suzanne Jackson, Kerstin Brätsch, Alex Katz, Richard Artschwager, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Kamrooz Aram, Paul Thek, Rathin Barman, and Yayoi Kusama.

Highlights of The Arts Club of Chicago’s permanent collection are displayed on the second floor. This area is accessible to the public by appointment only. Tours are held on weekdays, or Saturday afternoons, and take roughly 30 minutes.  Visitors may also request a tour of The Drawing Room on the first floor, which features a rotating installation of contemporary, Chicago-based artists.

Please contact the Arts Club office at 312.787.3997 or info@artsclubchicago.org.


The Archives of The Arts Club of Chicago are held by the Newberry Library, which maintains an extensive finding aid. Documenting the origins, development, and activities of The Arts Club of Chicago, the earliest records date back to 1912. The archives are open to the public for research in the Special Collections Reading Room, Newberry Library. Select materials are held on site at The Arts Club of Chicago. For specific questions or to obtain rights of reproduction, please email information@artsclubchicago.org.