Two majestic bronze lions greet you at the door of the Art Institute of Chicago in the heart of Chicago's Loop.
Home to renowned masterpieces — in addition to the third largest collection of art in the country and new groundbreaking exhibits each year — you'll find yourself steeped in art history and education with an event calendar filled with hundreds of insightful gallery talks, films, lectures and performances.
The Art Institute of Chicago boasts such an immersive experience, the cultural attraction was recently recognized with TripAdvisor's top honor for 2014: #1 Museum in the World.
Navigate your way through approximately 300,000 works spanning the globe and ranging from ancient to modern. With so much to see and do for families and arts enthusiasts of all ages, use the online and downloadable maps, guides and apps to help navigate, plan your visit and even narrate your own tour.
Charles Ray. Sleeping Woman, 2012. Glenstone. © Charles Ray, Courtesy Matthew Marks.
Plan your visit around the special featured exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago, which include the following highlights:
Charles Ray: Sculpture, 1997-2014
May 15, 2015 - October 4, 2015
The first major exhibition of Charles Ray's work since 1998 includes 19 recent pieces-including four new works making their museum debut. One of the most important sculptors of our era, the Chicago-born Los Angeles-based artist has pioneered the use of solid, machined aluminim and stainless steel, giving a reflective quality and fluid effect to his many life-size and over-size works.
Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints
July 31, 2015 - February 15, 2016
This exhibition explores Renaissance and Baroque printmakers' direct responses to classical antiquity by juxtaposing ancient sculpture with a selection of 15th- to 18th-century prints. Featuring Dionysos in his capacities as both the god of wine and the god of theater, this groundbreaking collaboration between the Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art and the Department of Prints and Drawings showcases important on-site loans of ancient art and new acquisitions of works on paper alongside choice material from other curatorial departments.
Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye
September 19, 2015 - January 3, 2016
With more than 50 built projects across the world, African-born David Adjaye is rapidly emerging as a major international figure in architecture and design. This exhibition-the first devoted to Adjaye-offers an in-depth overview of the architect's distinct approach and visual language through a dynamic installation design conceived by Adjaye Associates.
Van Gogh's Bedroom
February 14, 2016 - May 8, 2016
Vincent van Gogh's painting of his bedroom at Arles is arguably the most famous chambre in the history of art and the painting the artist considered his finest.This exhibition will bring together all three Bedroom paintings for the first time and present the documentary, scientific, and physical evidence pertaining to all three versions.
Edward Hopper, American, 1882-1967. Nighthawks, 1942. Oil on canvas. 33 1/8 x 60 in. (84.1 x 152.4 cm) The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection.
Contemplate treasures such as sculpture, architecture, photography, textiles and paintings, and get an intimate view of some of the world's most famous art. Some of the best known works at the Art Institute of Chicago include: Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day; Georges Seurat's A Sunday on the Isle of La Grande Jatte-1884; Grant Wood's American Gothic; Edward Hopper's Nighthawks; and Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist.
Embrace the grandeur of the 11 curatorial departments, from African to Medieval, housed in a total of eight buildings totaling nearly one million square feet. You'll find many areas with particularly strong holdings:
- The expansive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, the largest outside of the Louvre in Paris, is so impressive you could be engulfed for hours. It is among the most significant holdings of European Painting and Sculpture, which includes more than 3,500 works from the 12th through the mid-20th century.
The Department of American Art boasts over 1,000 paintings and sculptures from the 18th century to 1950 and nearly 2,500 decorative art objects from the 17th century to the present. Browse the Alfred Stieglitz Collection and major groups of work by John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt and Winslow Homer, as well as iconic Modernist holdings from Georgia O'Keeffe to the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.
Admire the distinguished Asian collection, which comprises works spanning nearly five millennia from China, Korea, Japan, India, southwest Asia, and the Near and Middle East. You'll find 35,000 objects of great archaeological and artistic significance, including Chinese bronzes, ceramics, and archaic jades; Japanese woodblock prints; and Indian and Persian miniature paintings.
And make time to enter the world of modern art during your visit. This world is so vast and rich that the Art Institute recently built and dedicated an entire structure to it. The stunning Modern Wing displays the collections of modern art, contemporary art, photography, and architecture and design more comprehensively than ever before.
- Delve into the Department of Contemporary Art, showcasing international art from 1945 to the present. It comprises over 1,000 works - encompassing painting, sculpture, installation, and new media - and you can count works by Willem de Kooning, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Joan Mitchell, Bruce Nauman, Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, and Cy Twombly as some of the notable holdings.
Considered one of the finest and most comprehensive in the world, the Art Institute's extraordinary collection of Modern Art boasts some of the greatest icons of the period, including Matisse's Bathers by a River; Brâncusi's Golden Bird; Magritte's Time Transfixed; O'Keeffe's Black Cross, New Mexico; Orozco's Zapata; Ivan Albright's Picture of Dorian Gray; and Lachaise's Woman (Elevation).
The museum architecture alone is enough to blow you away, with a bold new building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano. Breeze between sunlit Griffin Court
and the open-air Bluhm Family Terrace
sculptures, spend time in the state-of-the-art Ryan Education Center
or along the floating Nichols Bridgeway
, and take advantage of the expanded dining options, green spaces and visitor amenities.