Art lovers need to visit The Art Institute of Chicago

Published On: March 9, 2023Categories: Museums, Tourist attractionsTags:

Are you enthusiastic about art? If you’re staying with us at Freehand Chicago anytime soon, you absolutely have to make time for a trip to The Art Institute of Chicago. With over 300,000 works of art from ancient to modern times, you should probably (definitely) add this to your travel bucket list!

Here’s everything you need to know when paying the institute a visit.

A Brief History

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States, with a rich history dating back to 1879. Originally established as both a museum and a school, the Art Institute quickly became a beacon for art enthusiasts and aspiring artists alike.

Over the years, the museum’s collection has grown to include over 300,000 works of art from around the world, spanning ancient to contemporary times. From its stunning architecture to its world-renowned exhibitions, the Art Institute of Chicago remains a cultural landmark and a testament to the city’s enduring love of art.

What art collections are there at The Art Institute of Chicago?

One of the most impressive things about The Art Institute of Chicago is the sheer size and variety of its collection. Visitors can see everything from paintings, sculptures, and prints, to decorative arts, photography, and textiles. Some of the museum’s most famous works include; Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

​​Special Exhibitions

In addition to its permanent collection, The Art Institute of Chicago also hosts a variety of special exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions showcase works from both renowned and up-and-coming artists from all around the world.

From contemporary art to ancient artifacts, there’s always something new and exciting to see at the museum. To check what special exhibits are on when you’re visiting, visit the institute’s website here.

Museum fun facts!

  • The museum has been featured in numerous movies, including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “The Dark Knight,” and “The Vow.”
  • The bronze lions that flank the museum’s entrance have become iconic symbols of the city of Chicago. They were created by sculptor Edward Kemeys in the late 1800s and have been standing guard over Michigan Avenue since 1894.
  • The museum’s Modern Wing, which opened in 2009, was designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano and features a stunning 620-foot-long span of glass and steel.

Tips for visitors

If you’re planning a visit to The Art Institute of Chicago, here are a few tips to make the most of your experience:

  • Plan ahead: With so much to see, it’s best to plan your visit ahead of time. Check the museum’s website to see what exhibitions are currently on display and map out your route.
  • Take a guided tour: The museum offers a variety of tours, including free tours led by knowledgeable guides.
  • Don’t miss the museum’s iconic lion statues: As you approach the museum, be sure to take a photo with the famous lion statues that guard the entrance.

How can I get to The Art Institute of Chicago from Freehand Chicago?

The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 S Michigan Ave. If you’re planning on visiting during your stay at Freehand Chicago, here are the different options on how to get there:

  • Taxi (approx. 5 mins)
  • Walk (approx. 22 mins)
  • Train (approx.): Walk 2 minutes to Grand Station from Freehand Chicago and catch the Red Line Train towards 95th/ Dan Ryan and ride 2 stops to Monroe. From there, walk approx 5 minutes to reach The Art Institute of Chicago