Art Institute, Chicago

5 out of 5 stars 89 Reviews

111 S Michigan Avenue 312-443-3600

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    A few of my favorite things

    by goodfish Updated Jan 31, 2012

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    I've probably been to this one half a dozen times and it's still my favorite thing to do in Chicago. The Art Institute has a wonderful collection ranging from ancient to modern, and some pieces that are old and very good friends of mine. Four audio guide tours (extra fee) are available with a fun one geared to the youngsters so families can explore the world of art together. With 2 cafes, an upscale restaurant and very nice gift shop, it's easy to fritter away more than a few hours on a rainy day.

    Fully handicapped accessible and open 7 days a week except for Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year's days. The museum is open late on Thursdays: a good time to browse without the daytime crowds. See the website for hours, entry fees and other details.

    NOTE: the Institute is a sightseeing choice on the CityPASS. Entrance with the pass includes all special exhibits plus an audio tour (normally an additional $7)

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    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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    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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    Premier Art Museum in the US!

    by Marisola Updated Jun 16, 2008

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    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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    Art Institute of Chicago - Amazing!

    by TravellerMel Written Mar 23, 2010

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    Coming to the Art Institute of Chicago from 5pm-8pm on Thursdays will save you the $18 admission fee, but this museum is a repository of some of the most famous works of art in the world, and well worth the fee.

    We were able to view most of the galleries which interested us within the 3 hour window, but it would take much longer to view everything. I came specifically to see the Georges Seurat pointillism masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884", which is stunning in person and displayed in a way which allows you to move ever closer to the painting to see the dots of color on the canvas, then to pull away to watch the dots blend to make a new color. Brilliant!

    I was happily surprised to discover the Institute also houses many other famous paintings, including "American Gothic" by Grant Wood, and "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper, as well as other famous artists, including Dali, Picasso, Monet, Miro, Cassatt, O'Keefe, and many others. It was a feast for the eyes.

    Monday–Wednesday, 10:30–5:00
    Thursday, 10:30–8:00 (Free Admission 5:00–8:00)
    Friday, 10:30–8:00
    Saturday–Sunday, 10:00–5:00

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    A Great Place to Enjoy the Arts

    by deecat Updated Aug 18, 2005

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    Exhibit at Art Institute Chicago

    Please click the image to see the entire brochure

    I've gone to the Art Institute in Chicago so many times that I've lost count. It's a grand place to enjoy the arts. I especially enjoy going to the special exhibits that happen several times each year.

    In August of 2005, Allan and I visited to see the wonderful Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre exhibit that will be at the Art Institute from July 16-October 10, 2005.

    This particular exhibition looks at Toulouse-Latrec's prolific decade [1886-1896] regarding the Montmartre area in Paris. Besides Lautrec's work, there are other avant-garde artists that include Pierre Bonnard, Jules Cheret, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and Pablo Picasso. The exhibit includes many of Lautrec's famous posters, his journals, albums, photographs, and music programs from the era.

    The special objects and themes included the circus, Moulin Rouge, famous dance-hall celebrities, and everday, working-class patrons of the dancephalls and brothels.

    It was an enjoyable but expensive exhibition. The price included admission to the museum itself, and admission to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit. We also paid extra for the audio cassette concerning the show.

    Of course, we walked around the art institute and enjoy all the other great areas and artists.

    Don't miss seeing this wonderful institution when you visit Chicago.

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    Art Institute-Chagall windows

    by Dabs Updated Sep 16, 2013

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    Chagall's America Windows-Literature/Freedom
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    One of my favorite things to visit at the Art Institute are the vibrant blue Chagall designed "America Windows" which were installed at the Art Institute in 1977. They were designed by Chagall to celebrate our nation's bicentennial in 1976 and after hearing of the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley (Daley the elder who died in 1976, not Richard M. Daley who was Mayor from 1989-2011), Chagall dedicated the windows to him.

    The 6 stained glass panels each show a different theme-music, art , literature, freedom, theater and dance. In the attached picture of the freedom panel, you can see a dove, the Statue of Liberty and the Chicago skyline in it.

    The windows were off display for a long time but they are back in a different part of the museum. Follow the signs to the member lounge or the Stock Exchange room, they are just up the stairs from both,.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    One of America's finest arts museums

    by Jefie Updated Oct 13, 2008

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    I visited the Art Institute of Chicago on a Thursday night since admission was free and I can only say that despite the fact that some galleries were not open to the public, 3 hours wasn't nearly enough to see everything this splendid museum has to offer! I ended up skipping some sections altogether in an effort to get at the collections's most renown pieces, all the while trying to convince myself that I'd be back someday to see it all. The Art Institute of Chicago is located in a beautiful Beaux-Arts pavilion that was constructed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and I thought it was fairly easy to get around the museum. A new wing is scheduled to open in 2009 to host the contemporary art collection, which should increase the museum's gallery space by one third. The Art Institute is especially famous for its impressionist and post-impressionist collection, as well as for its impressive American arts section. Some of the museum's most beloved paintings include Georges-Pierre Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte", Gustave Caillebotte's "Paris Street; Rainy Day", and Grant Wood's "American Gothic".

    The Art Institute is open every day from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm, with late nights (8:00 pm) on Thursdays. Admission: $12.

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    Art at the Loop

    by BeatChick Updated Sep 22, 2007

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    Art Institute of Chicago jars
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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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  • shellybelly567's Profile Photo

    Art Institute of Chicago

    by shellybelly567 Updated May 10, 2004

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    Paris: Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte

    Wow. The Art Institute is an amazing place. I love art-or as I like to call it, "pretty pictures." The Art Institute of Chicago is home to a massive and impressive collection of art and artifacts from around the world and throughout history.

    One of it's more popular collections is the impressionist collection. My favorite impressionist painting was a massive (almost 7 by 10 feet) painting by Gustave Caillebotte entitled "Paris: Rainy Day." It's not just the size that draws me in, but also the beauty and symmetry. It's almost like two different paintings, with the lamppost being the border. The soft colors evoke a warmness and the couple in the foreground look casual and likeable.

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    Art Institute of Chicago

    by antistar Updated Oct 24, 2011

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    Nighthawks at the Chicago Art Institute
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    We rushed through the Art Institute so that we'd have time to see the star attraction: "Cezanne to Picasso", an exhibition of a collection of works belonging to French Art Dealer Ambroise Vollard. He was a man who "put Modern Art on the map", by buying the art of people like Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin and others, and selling it on for an outrageous profit.

    It was a great collection, but I was more interested in the American art on show. I was, after all, in America, in one of its greatest art museums. I'd already seen plenty of Picasso, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin in Europe. There were two pieces I was really looking forward to, and I wasn't disappointed: American Gothic and Nighthawks at the Diner.

    American Gothic is one of the most famous paintings in the world, and possibly its most reproduced. It captures the mood of 19th century rural America. Its iconic couple, a farmer and his daughter, looking incredibly sombre in front of their Gothic house, are two faces familiar to everyone in America, and also to many in the rest of the world.

    Nighthawks is similarly iconic, but this time capturing a different moment in America's history. It was painted in the days after Pearl Harbor, and shows the "loneliness of a large city", as Hopper described it. It became iconic for showing the mood of Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which was very much doom and gloom and downbeat.

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    Art Institute

    by micas_pt Updated Feb 1, 2004

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    The Art Institute in Chicago is worth visiting. I spent the whole afternoon there and still didn't manage to visit everything. There you will find interesting exhibitions and works. My favourite was an exhibition where could be seen some works designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and some Art Noveau pieces. The Modern & Contemporary Art is also another "must visit" as it has paintings by Monet, Matisse, Picasso and Andy Warhol, amongst others (but these were my favourites). On the lower plan there is a restaurant where you may have lunch or tea, rest and regain energy for continue visiting this great Art Institute. Food there is not outstanding and it's not cheap either.

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  • Must See for Art Lovers

    by CoAir13 Written Jan 29, 2004

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    Art Institute of Chicago

    For anyone with even just a slight appreciation for art.....spend the day here. "American Gothic", "Nighthawks", "Mao", "Excavation"......remarkable works. Modern Art, African Art, Architecture, Textiles........they have everything!!

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    Special Exhibits at The Art Institute of Chicago

    by shellybelly567 Updated May 10, 2004

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    Old Man in a Gorget and Black Cap

    When I went to the Art Institute, there was a huge special exhibit on Rembrand van Rijn. Even if you're not an art (pretty pictures) lover, you've probably heard of Rembrandt.

    The exhibit consisted, not only of many of his most famous paintings, but also hundreds of etchings-most of them very small and intimate. While I found, the etchings a little boring and monotonous after a while, it was still definitely worth the special ticket.

    So, if you're planning a trip to The Art Institute of Chicago, definitely check out their website to see what special exhibits they'll have while you're there.

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    Modern Art at The Art Institute of Chicago

    by shellybelly567 Written May 10, 2004

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    For Juan Gris #7

    The Art Institute's Department of Modern and Contemporary Art includes more than 1,500 paintings and sculptures by artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Geogia O'Keefe, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Joseph Cornell.

    I had no idea who Joseph Cornell was until I stepped into a room filled with his "kinetic boxes." These small wooden boxes are filled with magazine clippings, wire scraps, marbles or pennies, each creating it's own tiny universe. If it hadn't been near closing time, I probably would have spent hours in there. I think I was so taken by these boxes because they look like arts and crafts projects from school-simple and accessible.

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