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Art Institute of Chicago
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Art Institute of Chicago is a popular art museum located in Chicago’s Grant Park. It is the second largest art museum in the United States after the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and is considered to be one of the finest museums in the entire world. Its collections contain thousands of works of art from various time periods and cultures from around the world that fascinate visitors of all ages. Its most famous collections are of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and American paintings, including important pieces by artists like Monet, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
HistoryThe Art Institute of Chicago was first founded in 1879, and was originally named the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. In 1893, the museum moved to its present location on Michigan Avenue, in a building that was originally constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition , a world’s fair held in Chicago that same year. Between 2006 and 2009, a new wing was added to the museum in order to hold notable collections of 20th and 21st century artwork, specifically modern art, contemporary art, and photography.
HighlightsThere are thousands of works of art to see within the walls of the Art Institute of Chicago, but some are more famous than others. Its Impressionist collection features over 30 works by renowned artist Claude Monet , including several of his famous Water Lilies paintings. Other important pieces include Two Sisters (On the Terrace) by Renoir, The Basket of Apples by Cézanne, At the Moulin Rouge by Toulouse-Lautrec, Bedroom in Arles by van Gogh, and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, one of the most famous pointillist pieces by Georges Seurat .
Art lovers will also want to make sure to see important American works such as American Gothic by Grant Wood, The Child’s Bath by Mary Cassatt, and Nighthawks, which is arguably the most famous painting ever created by artist Edward Hopper, which depicts customers in a diner.
CollectionsThe museum contains over a dozen collections of artwork that you can peruse during your visit, including pieces from Africa and Asia, European decorative arts, textiles, and architecture exhibits.
Department of American ArtOne of the museum’s most famous collections, it contains thousands of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art objects from the 17th century to the present, featuring works by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, James McNeill Whistler, Diego Rivera, and Winslow Homer.
African CollectionYou can explore fascinating works of art from countries throughout Africa in this collection, including textiles, sculptures, furniture, ceremonial masks, and beadwork.
European Painting and Sculpture CollectionThe Art Institute is known for having one of the finest collections of European paintings in the world. Its highlights include rare 15th century paintings from Spain, Italy, and northern Europe, as well as major works from the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art movements.
Modern Art CollectionFamous pieces that belong to this comprehensive modern art collection include Old Guitarist by Picasso, Time Transfixed by Magritte, Bathers by a River by Matisse, and Golden Bird by Brâncuși.
Thorne Miniature RoomsOne of the museum’s most fascinating exhibits are the 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms, a collection of scale models created in the 1930s that feature miniature versions of various architectural and furniture styles from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.
Department of Architecture and DesignIf you’re interested in seeing works by famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, you’ll want to explore this modern department.
Department of TextilesThis collection includes fascinating artifacts such as European tapestries, 16th century English needlework, American quilts, pre-Columbian textiles, and 20th century fiber arts.
Photography CollectionArt lovers will be enthralled by this wonderful collection of photography from 1839 to the present, which features works by famous photographers like Edward Weston, Eugéne Atget, and Paul Strand.
Practical InformationDue to its location in the heart of downtown Chicago, it is easy to reach the Art Institute on foot or by bike. If you want to rent a bike for the day, you can use Divvy, Chicago’s bike-sharing service, which has stations located throughout the city.
By train: The nearest ‘L’ train station is Adams/Wabash, which is accessible from Brown, Purple, Pink, Green, and Orange Line trains. Another nearby stop is Monroe, which is serviced by Red and Blue Line trains. The closest Metra commuter train stations are Van Buren and Millennium, which are both only a couple of blocks from the museum along Michigan Avenue.
Address: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Hours: The Art Institute of Chicago is open daily from 10:30 until 17:00, with extended hours until 20:00 each Thursday.
Prices: General admission to the museum costs approximately $ 23 USD for adults, $ 17 USD for students and seniors, and is free for children under 14.
Similar AttractionsThere are several other notable art museums in the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, as well as the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Apr 22, 2015