Are you a fan of rock and roll? Intrigued by the underground world of spies? Or maybe French and Japanese art are more your interest. Then check out these 2017 Chicago museum exhibits that are sure to wow the crowds.
Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America April 8-November 26
Chicago History Museum
This traveling exhibition from the International Spy Museum explores nine major events and periods in U.S. history when Americans were threatened by enemies within their own borders. Events ranging from the 1813 burning of the White House to 9/11 illustrate the corresponding evolution of U.S. counterintelligence and homeland security. Chicago coverage includes a look at the radical Weather Underground group and their violent Days of Rage demonstration that took place in the city in 1969.
Exhibitionism - The Rolling Stones April 15-July 30
Get ready to rock the world of The Rolling Stones. This immersive musical exhibition follows the story of the world's greatest rock and roll band from its beginnings in a tiny London flat (meticulously recreated for the exhibit) to performing on the biggest stages around the globe. More than 500 original and rare items from The Rolling Stones archives are on display, including the band's handwritten lyric books and personal diaries, costumes by revolutionary designers such as Alexander McQueen, recordings and previously unreleased behind-the-scenes footage. Highlights include a cinema showing a high-octane Rolling Stones film, a recording studio featuring the band's actual instruments, and a backstage area that lets fans experience what it feels like for the group just before they head out to perform a show.
The Formation of the Japanese Print Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie SchoolApril 22-July 23
Art Institute of Chicago
Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright was a well-known patron of Japanese arts, inspired by his visit as a young man to the Japan pavilion at Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. He collected Japanese woodblock prints and mounted a large show of his collection at the Art Institute in 1908. Clarence Buckingham, whose name graces the museum's Japanese print gallery, bought several works from Wright. This current fascinating exhibit displays pieces from Buckingham's collection, along with photos from the 1908 Wright exhibition.
June 6-September 24
The MCA presents a major retrospective of this Japanese artist known for his vibrant anime-inspired characters, as well as high-profile collaborations with musician Kanye West and fashion house Louis Vuitton. Rooted in the tradition of Japanese painting and folklore, the exhibit features 50 works that spans three decades of the artist's career, from early pieces that are being shown in North America for the first time to Murakami's current monumental paintings.
June 25-September 10
Organized in cooperation with the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, this exhibition is the first to examine the artist's all-consuming interest in craft and applied decorative arts. Moving beyond Paul Gauguin's renowned work as a painter, the exhibit features his work in ceramics, woodcarving, printmaking and furniture decoration, and their relationship to his canvases. Featuring a diverse selection of his creative output, it includes the largest-ever public presentation of Gauguin's existing ceramics and groupings of objects reunited for the first time since leaving his studio. This unusual exhibition and installation considers Gauguin's radically inventive art-making processes resulting from the material explorations of his many and varied residences, from France to the Polynesian Islands.
Paul Gauguin and Émile Bernard. Earthly Paradise, 1888. The Art Institute of Chicago. Through prior gift of Henry Morgen, Ann G. Morgen, Meyer Wasser, and Ruth G. Wasser; restricted gift of Edward M. Blair.
July 16-November 12
The life of late rock and roll impresario Bill Graham, known for promoting San Francisco acts including the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, is explored in this thought-provoking exhibit. Although Graham was recognized as an effusive storyteller and champion of human rights, perhaps not as well-known was his personal story of his escape from the Nazis as a child refugee, arriving at New York's Ellis Island at the age of 11. Artifacts on display, many of which were provided by Graham's own sons, include Jimi Hendrix's guitar and psychedelic ‘60s Fillmore concert posters.
Through July 30
Presented as part of Chicago's Year of Public Art, this exhibit takes a look at how the city has championed public art for more than 200 years. Hear stories and see examples of historical public artwork, some loved and some despised. On the second floor check out The Wall of Respect: Vestiges, Shards and the Legacy of Black Power
, which examines the importance of a seminal mural on Chicago's South Side featuring black icons like Sarah Vaughan and Ossie Davis that has since been destroyed.
Through September 4
Kids and adults alike will be inspired by more than a dozen giant LEGO®
versions of engineering marvels that include the Golden Gate Bridge, International Space Station and Roman Colosseum. These LEGO®
creations, created by Chicago native Adam Reed Tucker, reveal the complex architectural designs of the original structures. Try your hand at building a LEGO®
masterpiece in the open build area.
L'Affichomania: The Passion for French Posters Through January 7, 2018
See approximately 50 posters by the five French grand masters of the medium, including Jules Chéret and Henri de Toulouse-Latrec, on display in this beautiful Gilded Age mansion museum. The posters date from 1875 to 1910, and were created during France's exuberant Belle Epoque era. Bright and bold, the posters advertised everything from cigarette papers to stage stars, and were hung along the boulevards of Paris. Posters on display include Lautrec's Moulin Rouge: La Goulue