The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the largest and oldest museums in USA, founded in 1879, . The museum is visited by approximately 1.5 million visitors every year. It has 11 curatorial departments and features 300,000 artworks. A Beaux-Art triumph, the building was built in 1893 and over a century, has gathered some priceless collections.
The Art Institute of Chicago artworks include African and Indian art, American art, Ancient and Byzantine art, Asian art, Contemporary art and European art. Some of the most popular paintings housed inside the museum include the Self-Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, Captive Slave and the Old Man with a Gold Chain. The photography collection is massive, as is the collection of arms and armor, or Asian art work dating back to about 5000 years ago. The Museum's recent expansion added a shop, a cafe and a restaurant, so yes, take the whole day off and spend it here, with lunch in between exhibits.
Art Institute of Chicago Artworks -
- African - This exhibition includes 400 artworks from the African continent and mainly emphasizes on the sculptures of Africa.
- American - Features more than 1000 paintings and sculptures since 18th century and 2500 decorative art pieces from the 17th century.
- Ancient and Byzantine - Comprises of significant artworks dating back 4000 years. The artworks are from ancient Byzantine, Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman and Greek cultures.
- Architecture and Design - Features 250,000 works by modern day architects.
- Arms, Armor, Medieval and Renaissance - This exhibition is all about medieval art from Europe and covers an era of over 500 years.
- Art of the Americas - Exhibits include Andean and Mesoamerican sculptures, ceramics, textiles and metalworks.
- Asian - 35,000 objects including Chinese, Indian, Japanese artworks spanning for over 4 millennials.
- Contemporary - This exhibition features some of the most popular pieces of art from the contemporary and modern period.
- European Decorative Arts - 25,00 European decor objects including furniture, ceramics, enamels and ivory.
- European Painting and Sculpture - It consists of 3500 art pieces dating from 12th century to 20th century.
- Modern - This unique collection of modern art is considered to be one of the finest in the world.
- Photography - Includes photographs of some of the most celebrated photographers in the world.
- Prints and Drawings - 11,500 drawings and 60,000 prints dating back to the 15th century.
- Textiles - The collection includes Pre-Columbian textiles, European vestments, tapestries, woven silks and velvets.
- Thorne Miniature Room - The exhibition gives you a glimpse of vintage European and American interiors.
Art institute of Chicago Exhibitions -
Current museum exhibitions include the following:
- Charles White - This exhibition traces the emergence of Charles White as a notable artist through his 40-year career path.
- Helen Frankenthaler Prints - Includes over 50 prints of the abstract expressionist.
- John Singer Sargent and Chicago's Gilded Age - This exhibition is dedicated to the American portraitist and features some of his best portraits.
- The Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Arms, and Armor - Features monumental artifacts, exquisite jewelry pieces and armor collection from the medieval and renaissance.
- Forever "Egypt!" - Works from the Collection of Harold Allen: Features articles from the Egyptomania craze in the early and mid-twenties.
- Georg Jensen - Scandinavian Design for Living: This exhibition includes modern tableware items designed by Georg Jensen
- Ornamental Traditions - Jewelry from Bukhara: Jeweled objects from Bukhara which depict extraordinary artistry.
Upcoming exhibitions: Some of the upcoming exhibitions include:
- James Webb: Prayer: Features recorded prayers from every faith in Chicago.
- Hairy Who? -Dedicated to an art group of six Chicago artists.
- My Building, Your Design: Seven Portraits by David Hartt: Collection of photographs of iconic contemporary structures.
- Hans Haacke: Bronze sculpture of a horse raises questions about the relation between business, politics, education and art.
- Tomma Abts: Features the rigorous artworks of Abts.
Museum Guides -
- Audio Guide: The Chicago Art Institute Museum audio guides are available in English, French, Chinese and Spanish. The guides are free for visually impaired people and can be rent by others for $7. The cost of audio guide is not included in the Art Institute of Chicago tickets.
- Mobile Application- The Art Institute of Chicago mobile application is available for ios devices and helps you find the exhibition you want to visit.
Dining - There are gourmet meals as well as casual and cheap meals available at the Art Institute of Chicago. You can choose from the wide variety of options for dining. Those are- Terzo Piano, Museum Cafe and Caffe Moderno.
The art institute of chicago is recommended to add to the Chicago trip planner if you have only one day to spend in the city.
- Members of the gallery never need to buy tickets
- Occasionally exhibitions need an extra charge
- Children under 14 can enter for free
- You can use Chicago’s bike-sharing program to reach the museum
- Flowers, balloons, food or drinks are not accepted in the checkroom
- Photography and videography are permitted under certain museum guidelines.
- Talking on mobile phones is only permitted in non-gallery premises of the museum.
Following items are not allowed in the museum:
- Art materials other than pencil (including ink pens)
- Backpacks and backpack baby carriers
- Bags, camera bags, or purses larger than 13 x 17 x 4 inches
- Shopping bags
- Flowers or balloons
- Food or drink
- Tripods, flash attachments, video cameras and selfie sticks.
- Umbrellas (small umbrellas can be stowed in bags)
- Wrapped packages (gifts)
- Tricycles, carts, hoverboards, Segways
- Ramp access available
- Manually operated wheelchairs available
- Hearing-assist devices mounted at some places
Art institute of Chicago prices -
- Adults: USD 25
- Chicago Residents Adults: USD 20
- Illinois Residents Adults: USD 22
- Seniors: USD 19
- Chicago Residents Seniors: USD 14
- Illinois Residents Seniors: USD 16
- Students: USD 19
- Chicago Residents Students: USD 14
- Illinois Residents Students: USD 16
- Teens: USD 19
- Chicago Residents Teens: Free
- Illinois Residents Teens: USD 16
- Art institute of Chicago admission for children under 14: Free
- Illinois Residents every Thursday entry from 5 to 8 pm: Free
- Adult Fast Pass: USD 35
- Senior Fast Pass: USD 29
- Student Fast Pass: USD 29
- Adult Skydeck Combo: USD 46
- Adult Navy Pier Combo: USD 39
- Child Navy Pier Combo: USD 12
Chicago art institute hours -
- Everyday: 10:30 am – 5 pm
- Thursday : 10:30 am – 8 pm
Art institute of Chicago shop hours -
- Everyday: 10:30 am – 5 pm
- Thursday : 10:30 am – 8 pm
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
You can reach the Michigan Avenue Entrance of the museum by these routes:
- Indiana: Indiana toll road to Congress Plaza
- South Suburbs: Dan Ryan Expressway to Congress Plaza
- Wisconsin and North Suburbs: Eden Expressway- Kennedy Expressway- Monroe Street
- O’Hare Airport and Northwest Suburbs: Kennedy Expressway- Monroe Street east
- West Suburbs: Eisenhower Expressway to Congress Plaza
- Southwest Suburbs: Stevenson expressway- Lake Shore Drive- Michigan Avenue
- Capital Grille
- Yolk Rasp
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93.79% of people who visit Chicago include The Art Institute Of Chicago in their plan
10 AM - 11 AM
65.09% of people start their The Art Institute Of Chicago visit around 10 AM - 11 AM
People usually take around 3 Hrs to see The Art Institute Of Chicago
50.36% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting The Art Institute Of Chicago
Three words: Disorganized, clueless and illogical. Was invited to a concert as a guest. Asked at the front and was told to check in the "deck." The lady I talked to was clueless or had no idea, and told me to go to 230 Columbus. It was closed, so I went the other entrance. People there were clueless as well, and again told me to go to the building at 230. The manager came out and he also did not tell me where a guest was supposed to go. Had a dinner and waited outside for a little over an hour. People outside agreed that nobody seemed to know or able to tell where we were supposed to go. I was able to go inside and allowed to enter. However, I wasn't allowed to go to an after show party EVEN IF the host personally came out and tried to get me. The African American security (female) said, "he should have checked in the deck." Well, I tried, but the lady didn't know anything! The Hispanic security (male, 5'5", square face, and square hair line) asked me, "What are you doing with the bottle of water?" which I rightfully owned after I purchased in the back of the room. He basically confiscated the bottle, insisting, "No, you can't take it outside." Huh??? Been to many shows, but this venue was fairly disorganized, people were clueless and some of the demand/request were illogical. There was an African American security person, and he was the only sane and logical person there. And the coat check person.
Always an amazing place to visit. A world-class institution in a world-class city. It had been at least a dozen years since I last visited, and many things have changed, mostly for the better. The Modern Art wing and special exhibits are worth the trip in themselves; add in the classical works, the Renaissance art, and especially the incredible collection of Impressionist masterpieces, and you have the makings of a truly memorable experience. I particularly enjoyed the "Harry Who?" retrospective. Get yourself there!
Wonderful museum! I still don't feel like I got to fully explore it all. Great place to be! So many exhibits and so many great spaces to be in. Definitely worth the money and a great way to spend some time in Chicago. Would say that the lines could get long, but definitely worth it.
One of the great museums of the world. It can be exhausting to try to absorb it all in one visit, so if you can, try to come at least twice -- three or four visits would be best so you can really dwell on individual schools and eras. Very accessible, beautiful buildings, and even at its most crowded, you can still quite often get a great view of even the most famous pieces and linger over them a bit. Staff is very courteous and helpful.
Confusing to navigate, however, staff is very friendly and approachable and always willing to help. Great selection of artwork. My favourite is the collection of water lilies paintings. Just beautiful. The gallery is well kept and clean. Will be back to explore more very soon.