Art Institute, Chicago

5 out of 5 stars 5 Stars - 89 Reviews

111 S Michigan Avenue 312-443-3600

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  • Marisola's Profile Photo

    Premier Art Museum in the US!

    by Marisola Updated Jun 16, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Marie at Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibit

    The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the Premier art museums in the US. It is an absolutely beautiful museum, filled with treasures! Best known for it's collections of Impressionist and American art, you're sure to find your own favorites. Stroll through and gaze at the wonderful collections. You will surely be impressed! Although I've been there many many times, I still haven't seen everything!

    My favorites at the museum include paintings by Caillebotte (Paris Street), Seurat, Picasso, VanGogh, Renoir and Monet. I also love the "American (stained glass) Windows" of Marc Chagall, and the Thorne Miniature Rooms (downstairs), which are like little dollhouse rooms decorated in different time periods.

    Check the website for upcoming exhibits at the Art Institute. They are always superbe!
    Past exhibits I've seen include Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, VanGogh & Gaughin, Degas
    and Monet. They have all been fabulous!

    Also, if you're interested in studying art, they also have a School of the Art Institute -- Walt Disney went there!

    After your visit, don't forget to hit the gift shop. Something artistic will make a nice souvenir from your trip!

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    One of the Great Art Museums of the World!

    by Hopkid Updated Feb 18, 2008

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    We very rarely visit Chicago without a stop at the Art Institute. They have one of the most enjoyable collections of European Impressionist, Modernist, American 20th century painters that you will see anywhere in the U.S. Some of the more famous paintings in the permanent collection include Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, Grant Wood's American Gothic, Andy Warhol's Mao, George Saurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jette, Vincent Van Gogh's The Bedroom, and Renoir's Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Besides the sculptures, paintings, sketches, and etchings, there are also architectural elements from various buildings around Chicago and the world, decorative arts (furniture, lamps, etc.), and a reconstruction of the circa 1894 trading floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange.

    The original portion of the current museum building was constructed in 1893 as part of the grounds for the World's Columbian Exposition which took place in Grant Park. The Art Institute is one of the few structures from the Exposition that is still standing today. The classic Beaux Arts design is itself a piece of art and fits in well with the grand architecture in either direction up and down Michigan Avenue.

    Picasso, Monet, Gris, Wright, Toulouse-Latrec, Homer, O'Keefe, Sargent, Remington, Matisse, etc., etc., etc. If you in any way have an appreciation for any period or type of art, do not miss a visit to the Art Institute. You will not be disappointed!

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    Art at the Loop

    by BeatChick Updated Sep 22, 2007

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    Saturday shrimp56 & I traipsed around looking at my favorites from the previous visit:
    *Seurat's Sunday on Le Grande Jatte made more famous in Ferris Bueller's Day Off in the scene where Ferris gets reaaaaly close to the painting to see the impressionist strokes of paint overlaid by dots of paint (ergo Pointillism) and then far off to see it in its full effect;
    *Renoir's Two Sisters (On the Terrace);
    *Caillebotte's Paris Street: Rainy Day, my favorite painting there (and I think in my Top 10). This must be an anchor painting for the museum as it shows up on the cover of the museum guide.

    I really wanted to see Chagall's blue stained glass piece (America Windows) but it was either in storage for cleaning or out on tour but definitely "currently not on view".

    Sally steered me to the Lorenzo Ghiberti Florentine Renaissance doors, Gates of Paradise (on the flipside you should also see Gates of Hell at the Rodin Museum in Paris). Shrimp tells me she saw these doors before there restoration in Florence a few years back!

    Other items of interest included the small Native American artifact collection, the Manet paintings (where shrimp snapped photos of painting corners) and the Chicago Stock Exchange Trading Room. Shrimp had just consented to teach an art history course and so combined this as a research trip and she guided me around showing me items she'd focus on in her class (I'm so lucky!). But nearly got thrown out of the museum as the guard felt we were TOOCLOSE taking photos of some the works of art (ha! at least we're real art appreciators)!!

    There were several musicians and poets throughout the museum which elevated the level of cultural interest throughout - trés fantastique! This may have been for the Celtic Fest which was going on that 2nd weekend in September.

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    Art Institute of Chicago

    by TRimer Updated Sep 14, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Famous Lions

    The museum houses more than 300,000 works of art within its 10 curatorial departments. Among its great treasures are the legendary masterpieces A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jette by Georges Seurat, American Gothic by Grant Wood, Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, and 33 paintings by Claude Monet.

    The original, core beaux-arts building, designed by Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, was built for the World's Columbian Exposition. It was originally named the Allerton Building.

    Some say that the Lions that "guard" the outside of the museum are to Chicago what the Statue of Liberty is to NYC. They are definately very recognizable. The lions are not identical twins. One of the lions represents strength, and another represents majesty. The museum has been known to dress up the lions for different occasions (i.e. when the Bears were in the playoffs they put helmuts on them).

    Recommended admissions for nonmembers: adults, $12; children, students, and seniors (over 55), $7. Children five and under are free. Tuesdays are FREE. Certain exhibitions require a special timed ticket or the full recommended admission posted at ticket counters.

    Special Exhibit: From 7.28.07-10.14.07, the Art Institute will have part of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise on display. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe this masterpiece up close before they are put on permanent display in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence (and will never travel again).

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  • heryanta's Profile Photo

    Too much to see, too little time

    by heryanta Written Aug 27, 2007

    Art Institute of Chicago is a HUGE museum located at the Grant Park on South Michigan Avenue.

    When I said HUGE I sincerely mean it. I had 2 hours to look around before I was supposed to meet some friends from out of state. I headed directly to the 2nd floor European paintings wing as they have many works from 14-17 century from renowned artists including Gaugin, Monet, Munch and Picasso.

    Time was running out so I whisked past the last few rooms and headed to the basement to see the Thorne Miniature Room gallery. This is an amazing collection of miniature rooms from different era's both in Britain and America. Again 15 minutes was not enough to enjoy the collection carefully.

    I definitely need to go back since there are still so many things to see: the American paintings collection, the photography exhibition and the sculpture collection to name a few.

    The museum is open from 10.30 am to 5pm from Monday - Wednesday; otherwise it is open until 9 pm.
    Admission costs $12 for adults, and in the summer Target sponsors free evenings on Thursdays and Fridays (from 5pm onwards)

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  • sunshine9689's Profile Photo

    Art Institute FREE on Thursdays 5-8pm

    by sunshine9689 Updated Mar 30, 2007

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    Entrance. March 2007
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    3 levels of the museum offer vast art collections, anything from paperweight to architecture, exhibitions (Cezanne to Picasso, until May 12).

    On the Lower Level (Gallery 10) visitors can also enjoy The Touch Gallery. Specifically designed for visually impaired but available to all, it has five sculptures (all represent the human face) accompanied by text panels and labels presented in both large type and Braille.

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  • keida84's Profile Photo

    Get yourself some "Culture"

    by keida84 Updated Jan 25, 2007

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    The Lions in the Winter
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    I found the Chicago Art Institute an enjoyable pastime while visiting the Chicago area. I have been to the Los Angeles Art Museum, Huntington Garden, The Getty and the Philadelphia Art Museum. I think Chicago's art collection ranks right up there in the top 5 of U.S. Art museums.

    My favorite kind of art is the "Impressionists", Monet, Renoir, Cassat to name a few. The use of "high key color" (colors that are far removed such as gray, black or brown) are colors that one can see during the day. I truly enjoyed seeing Monet's Water Lily Pond.

    Also presented were The Thorne Miniature Rooms. In the 1930's Mrs James Ward Thorne and her band of artists created miniature rooms from the European and American architectural interiors. She had become interested in them as her uncle (who was an admiral in the British Navy) sent some to her. Mrs Thorne donated 66 miniatures to the Art Institute in 1941.

    Although her depictions were not historically correct, the miniatures enable people to see what dwellings were like back in the late 16th to 20th Centuries. Mrs Thorne had a challenge to be able to recreate the illusion of daylight streaming through the windows, she suceeded admirably. The minatures were fun to look at and as a patron of the Arts, I was pleased to see that in 1987 an all out effort to restore these little gems was launched. A new gallery was designed by an architectural company to display the refinished works.

    Art Institute hours are: Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Friday: 10:30 to 4:30pm
    On Thursday: 10:30 to 8:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 to 5:00pm

    Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for senior citizens, students and children

    NOTE** On Thursday evenings from 5pm to 8pm, admission is free Always check prior as the days and times are subject to change.

    For Public Programs or Events call: 312 443 3600

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  • mishkah's Profile Photo

    Art Institute

    by mishkah Updated Jan 14, 2007

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    This is a FANTASTIC..."gallery" seems almost a perjorative describing this place, it's so exhaustive. Try to catch the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit and make sure you don't miss the sculpture courtyard or the medieval armoury.

    Seriously, leave at least a half day, preferably a whole day for this place and all required Ferris Bueller impersonations therein.

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

    by LoriPori Updated Dec 21, 2006

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    Van Gogh's
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    One of the world's great art museums, THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO has collections dating from 3,000 B.C. through to the present , including famous French impressionist paintings and drawings ( the Renoirs were absolutely wonderful ), fine and decorative art from America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, photography, textiles and architectural works.
    The internationally acclaimed collection of French impressionism includes works by Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh. I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I was to see the original painting of Van Gogh's "Self Portrait". I have seen it in pictures many times, but had no idea the original was in Chicago. WOW!
    Also one of my favourite display areas, were the 68 captivating Thorne Miniature Rooms, which trace the history of interior design and furnishings in exquisite detail.
    We, Hans and I, Kat and friend Kris, Robert and Kristi all thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Art Institute and as a bonus, we got in free (Thursdays after 5:00 p.m. ).

    Admission:
    Adults $12.00
    Children ( 12 + ) Students & Seniors $7.00
    Children under 12 are free
    Members are free

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  • Forrest_Gump's Profile Photo

    GO SEE the Art Institute of Chicago

    by Forrest_Gump Updated Sep 30, 2006

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    Art Institute
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    Only cost $12 for an adult to go.There is the most amazing pieces of artwork you will ever see in your life.After going to a very loud environment,the Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute was VERY relaxing to walk around for 3 hours at. There is a cafeteria with some good food there also in case you get hungry. Picasso,Van Gogh, Monet,Grant Wood, theyre all there at this museum,its just a breathtaking place to visit.i HIGHLY recommend you visit this place.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mux1YCNx7jA

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  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Chicago's World Class Art Museum

    by spgood301 Written Jul 8, 2006

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    The Art Institute...note the big lion
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    Around the turn of the last century, there was a major push to bring world class art to Chicago. The Art Institute is a major result of that effort. See world class paintings from all over the world here - 20th century American art, paintings from major European artists dating back to the 15th century, Impressionist and Postimpressionist art, contemporary too. The Art Institute has a great collection, to suit pretty much anyone's taste.

    But great paintings are only a part of the picture here (yeah, I know that was bad). See sculptures and other artifacts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Asia and Africa. Arms and armor dating almost back to the Middle Ages (how'd they ever fight in those things?). Decorative arts, textiles and, since it's Chicago, there's a section on architecture too.

    The Art Museum is a "must see" while in Chicago. It's open 7 days a week. Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children - to me, that's a bargain. And it's easy to find too - just look for the two lions on Michigan Avenue.

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    Art Institute of Chicago

    by IrishFem Updated May 30, 2006

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    Entrance to Art Institute

    A very impressive building. I specifically went to see the Van Gogh and Gauguin exhibition. The exhibition was self guided. You pay $10 for a tape recorder that will take you through the paintings and you can of course stroll at your own lesiure. This is optional of course. The museum is opened everyday except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. You will also find a restaurant the court cafeteria for a snack and a Museum shop. You do really need a full day here in the art institute. Wonderful exhibits by Claude Monet, Toulouse Lautrec and Andy warhol to name but a few. Downstairs you can find the wonderful Thorn Miniture Rooms. The 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms date from the 13th century to the 1930s and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s. You get a glimpse into what the interiors of houses were like in those days.

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    New Admissions Policies at Art Institute

    by L2go Updated May 12, 2006

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    Beginning June 6, there will no longer be a free day at the Art Institute. Instead, Thursday and Friday evenings (5 to 9 p.m.) will be free. When the summer is over, the museum will be free only on Thursday evenings (and, I guess, from February 1 -21.) Additional bad news: the old policy of "Pay what you wish, but you must pay something" is no longer in effect. Now adults must pay $12 admission, though children under 12 will receive free admission after June 3.

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    Don't miss the medieval paintings at AIC!

    by shrimp56 Written Dec 31, 2005

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    The dragon of St George and ...
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    If you leave the Impressionist galleries and keep going "around the square" you will start at the beginning of the European galleries. This last trip I just focused on some of the amazing details in the medieval painting section. They date from the mid 1200s to the mid 1400s.
    .
    Click on "other photos" to enjoy what I did!

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    From Ancient India to the Renaissance

    by shrimp56 Updated Dec 31, 2005

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    On the left a beautiful jeweled pendant in the design of a ship -- on the right the Hindu god Ganesha.
    .
    Please click on the picture to enjoy the detail.
    .
    The South Asia section has been moved during the AIC renovations, Not all items are on view alas :(

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