2017 Blockbuster Chicago Exhibits

If you are a fan of architecture and design Chicago is the place for you this season. Intrigued by the underground world of spies? Or maybe French or Brazilian art are more your interest? Then check out these fall/winter 2017 Chicago exhibits that are sure to wow the crowds. From the pervasive in pop culture (Chicago welcomes exhibitions on LEGO® and mega movie series Jurassic World) to several firsts — the first ever U.S. show from Palais de Tokyo of Paris and the first North American exhibition devoted to Tarsila do Amaral — these special showings at museums and galleries across Chicago span all genres.


Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist 
Art Institute of Chicago

Open now through September 10, 2017
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.


Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg
Museum of Contemporary Art

Takashi Murakami Art Exhibit Chicago

Open now through September 24, 2017
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.


Palais de Tokyo presents Singing Stones
DuSable Museum of African American History

The Roundhouse, DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.

September 13, 2017 - October 29, 2017
In its first-ever show in the United States, Palais de Tokyo of Paris takes over the historic Roundhouse space at the DuSable Museum with a large-scale exhibition featuring 13 artists from Chicago and France as part of a new EXPO Chicago partnership.


Chicago Architecture Biennial
Chicago Cultural Center

September 16, 2017 - January 7, 2018
Free exhibitions, full-scale installations and programming provide an opportunity for the public to engage with and think about architecture and design in new, exciting ways. With 140+ architects and artists, this is the largest architecture and design exhibition in North America. The hub of the 2017 Biennial will again be the Chicago Cultural Center, located in downtown Chicago, with more to see and experience across the six museums and institutions serving as Community Anchor sites.


Very Eric Carle
Chicago Children's Museum

September 30, 2017 - January 14, 2018
Children and families are invited to step into the pages of Eric Carle's classic picture books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Quiet Cricket.


Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution 
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Open now through November 12, 2017
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.


Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America 
Chicago History Museum

Open now through November 26, 2017
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.


Jurassic World: The Exhibition
The Field Museum

Jurassic World: The Exhibition in Chicago

Open now through January 7, 2018
Get closer to dinosaurs than ever before in Jurassic World: The Exhibition! Based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, the Exhibition immerses audiences of all ages in scenes inspired by the beloved film. Now, the park that was only a promise comes to life...right before your eyes.Travel to Isla Nublar as a VIP guest and explore Jurassic World. Stare in wonder at a towering Brachiosaurus; come face-to-face with a Velociraptor; and get a rare up-close look at the most vicious dinosaur of them all, Tyrannosaurus rex.


Brick by Brick 
Museum of Science and Industry

Brick By Brick at Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

Open now through January 7, 2018 (extended by popular demand!)
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 
Driehaus Museum

L'Affichomania Posters In Chicago

Open now 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.


Robot Revolution
Museum of Science and Industry

Open now through February 4, 2018
Meet the coolest robots ever, assembled. This exhibit is unprecedented. Its cutting edge. And its fun! Get face-to-interface with nearly 40 robots coming to Chicago from all over the world, and doing things you'll barely believe. Watch robots play soccer—without any human control! Meet a robot that can sense and react to your facial expressions. Challenge industrial robot Baxter to a game of tic-tac-toe. Make friends with a therapeutic baby seal robot. See these breakthroughs in science for yourself and discover what robots are able to do for us now and in the future.


Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil
Art Institute of Chicago

October 8, 2017 – January 7, 2018
The first North American exhibition devoted to major Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral focuses on her groundbreaking work of the 1920s.


We Are Here
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

October 21, 2017 – January 28, 2018
This exciting exhibit that features many gems from the MCA's permanent collection is part of the museum's 50th anniversary celebration.


Year of Public Art

A free Public Art Festival (held in October), various exhibitions and exciting live performances are all part of the city's 2017 initiatives presented throughout Chicago.

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