The Art Institute of Chicago

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111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, USA - (312) 443-3600

The Art Institute of Chicago Reviews

WalterC WalterC
389 reviews
Really nice art to see Jul 22, 2013
The Art Institute of Chicago is an arts history museum, containing works from all over the world, and from different time periods. Located in the Loop, it is about a block away from the Adams/Wabash stop on the Elevated trains.

This museum has quite an extensive collection of American art, most notably “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. This is the one with the man and woman, with a pitchfork on a farm. It has been referenced and parodied countless times. This painting is a very good reason to come this museum, to see the original in person.

Another section of note, is the Thorne Miniature Rooms, which has the miniature versions of rooms from different time periods, from different parts of the world. The attention to detail is just amazing to look at, and makes you wonder, how they were able to make it, and how long it took.

There are also art from the ancient world, from Greece to Byzantine times, as well as ones from different parts of Asia, among others. Just a lot to see, so pick and choose which ones that interest you the most, and only add more if you still have the time and energy.

The American art and the miniature rooms are enough reason to check this place out. And a nice way to spend the day if the weather is not so nice outside.

Museum is open late on Thursday, until 8 PM. So it can be a nice way to spend an evening.
the lions in front of the museum
map of the ancient world
Greek vase
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
cotton_foam says:
been there and I love it!!
Posted on: Dec 11, 2013
rsvpme says:
Interesting review..well done !
Posted on: Dec 11, 2013
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nik2blessed nik2bles…
94 reviews
Extraordinary Art Museum Apr 05, 2012
This museum has such extraordinary art galleries that will bring history to your very presence. This was my first time going to this particular museum but definitely won't be the last. The price to get in was average and they do honor military ==> FREE which is always A+ to me!

They open between at 10:30 am until sunset roughly. When you arrive there may be a man entertaining you in front of museum, seems as though he's trying to make a living and he will give you advice to what door will open for members or general ticketing (he was right by the way, wont hurt to give him loose change).

It is located downtown Chicago right on South Michigan Avenue, not hard to find and we parked in a parking garage near the museum or get a taxi(whatever you prefer), I suggest riding train or "L". I recommend eating before going, but they do have an cafe on the lower level for quick snacks. Anyhow overall I rate this place 5 stars, it's incredibly inspirational and enjoyable too.
lions standing guard
venus and her son cupid
David David
22 reviews
Art! Mar 09, 2011
The Art Institute is a large building housing many collections and exhibitions. You could spend an entire afternoon here and still not see everything. I only had a little over an hour to look things over. The back of the visitor's guide has checklist of the top 12 things to see if you only have an hour to spend. I did just that proceeding from the grand staircase and making my way around the first and second floor. They also have a garden but that is closed during winter. If you come during the last hour before closing admission is half off. Aside from the collection of Monet's, Picasso's and van Gogh's it was the iconic American artwork that I was excited to see: namely Edward Hopper's Nighthawk and Grant Wood's American Gothic.
Nighthawks - Edward Hopper
American Gothic - Grant Wood
Basket of Apples - Cezanne
Self portrait - Vincent van Gogh
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Nair2011 Nair2011
246 reviews
Wow.. Great Galleries and Wonderful Experience Aug 15, 2011
The Art Institute of Chicago main entrance is located in the Michigan Avenue. Guarded by 2 lions this building has 4 levels of Galleries. Some of the Galleries will close on certain days for certain time period. All galleries will open between 12.00 to 3.30 on weekdays and 10.30 to 5.00 on sat & sun. We have to be ready to spend all day here to see most of the galleries.

Though photography is allowed, some articles are marked as no photography signs. Visitor guide is available at the entrance. If you have only an hour to spend here, 12 most important galleries must to see are on the last page of the visitor guide.

I have enjoyed the displays in the museums thoroughly. Audio guide is also available for extra and is free for CITY PASS holders. Audio guide is clear and precise about the displayed article importance and history.

I have taken many pictures and attached for TBs here for visual representation of all I seen.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
The Art Institute, Chicago Aug 23, 2010
The Art Institute of Chicago is a brilliant art gallery. It is perhaps best known for one of the best collections of impressionist paintings outside France, and it would be a reasonably impressive museum on those grounds alone. There are a huge variety of Monets, Degasses, and other stunning impressionist works, although perhaps rather fewer Van Goghs than you’d expect given the stellar quality of the collection. But there is a great deal of other interesting art too. There are several beautiful blue period Picassos, a Rothko, some Matisses and some Dalis, some contemporary art, some ancient Chinese pottery and jade work, and of course some great collections of American art. Sometimes I forget how much I like Georgia O’Keefe – there is a glowing collection of her art to remind me. The museum is also home to Hopper’s Nighthawks, one of the most iconic pictures of American twentieth century art, and American Gothic (that’s the much parodied one with the pitchforks). And there’s some pre 19th century European art that I pretty much glossed through because by this point my feet were killing me. There is a large display of architectural drawings, some of which were works of art in their own right. This was one of three slight disappointments; it would bhave been a lot more interesting if there had been some indication of which of the architectural drawings ever turned into buildings, and if they did, what the buildings looked like; it was too hard to tell. The other slight disappointments were that the folk art wing was closed and that the little café had no snacks and few real seats, although apparently there was a restaurant somewhere.

Despite that, I had a wonderful 5 and a half hours here. Even for me, that is a long trip to a gallery. It is a light, airy building with a huge modern extension on the edge of Millennium Park and Grant Park, and has a cool bridge crossing into the gardens. There is, of course, a large gift shop. But make sure you eat before you go!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
avidtraveler avidtrav…
10 reviews
A gemstone of Chicago Apr 04, 2010
The Art institute of Chicago is in the central part of the city, cross section of Jackson and Michigan. Admission fee is 12$, and all bags should be checked in before starting tour. This is a bit different from Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, and Sundays are open.

If you walk just 1 min from the Bus station (surely Bus No.6 reaches the station), the lion statue will greet you in front, and the vast amount of collection is waiting for you. Although it is not the four biggest museum in the world (Louver, The British, Metropolitan, and MFA), both quality and quantity are superb and the admission fee is more than worth it. It has good collection of southeast asia (India,Nepal and Burma) especially for buddhism arts, and also has good amount of French impressionism pieces as well as big collection of China section. The only drawback is perhaps China is taking too much of portion, but other than that, it is absolutely one of the best stop you want to enjoy in Chicago if you are museum buff. Alongside with its architectural heritage of 130 years, The Art institute of Chicago is a sure gemstone of the city.
The Art institue of Chicago
Collections of the Art institute o…
chinorockwell chinoroc…
1 reviews
Awesome Apr 24, 2008
The Art Institute of Chicago is, I'm sure, only one of the reasons why Chicago consistently ranks so high in surveys about the best cities for art in the world. Among other things, it features pieces from the Renaissance, to Impressionism, to Contemporary, and ancient Asian pieces from the Old Silk Road to political pieces on the socio-political climate of the New Silk Road. Parking can be fairly expensive, but after paying $35 to park at the MOCA in LA (for 2 hours, no less), no price for parking seems ridiculous to me anymore.

On that note, I highly recommend shelling out the extra few dollars to visit the Ambroise Vollard exhibition ("Cezanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard Patron of the Avant-Garde). It's $17 for the ticket (and no student discounts), but as the title suggests, it features a number of highly renowned artists ranging from Post-Impressionism to the Fauves. Personally, it's always been a goal of mine to see Picasso's The Old Guitarist in person, and it was a really gratifying experience to get a chance to view it. In fact, I overheard the lady next to me saying that you could still see the figure of a woman beneath the paint, meaning that Picasso for one reason or another decided to re-use the same canvas for The Old Guitarist.

The Contemporary section is also very impressive: particularly a video installation by artists Kasmalieva and Djumaliev (Trans-Siberian Amazons), part of a collection called A New Silk Road: Algorithm of Survival and Hope (from Kyrgyzstan, a country I started getting interesting in after reading about their coup a few years back). It features a dimly lit older woman on a train, singing a Russian ballad from the 1980s by Alla Pugacheva. The screens to the left and right of her are in constant motion, depicting the wide open space and landscape of the Kyrzyg countryside, while also serving as a very tactful contrast to the static shot of the singing woman. It is undeniably nostalgic, and suggests that something about Kyrzygstan will never be the same again.

Overall, the Art Institute of Chicago is a very compelling visit, and definitely lives up to its reputation of being among the top museums to visit in the world.
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1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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