CITY GUIDE: ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO | Since opening its doors on Michigan Avenue in 1893, the Art Institute of Chicago has become one of the world’s foremost museums, showcasing incredible pieces from the Masters and modern artists. The grand museum sits just steps from the historic downtown Chicago Athletic Association hotel, giving our guests easy access to hours strolling the many galleries in the main museum and the adjacent Modern Wing, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2019.
While exhibits often change at the Art Institute, some pieces will almost always be on display, including iconic works like Wood’s American Gothic, Hopper’s Nighthawks, Picasso’s Old Guitarist, Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles, Monet’s Water Lillies, Toulouse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge, and Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte.
In 2015, the museum announced it had received one of its largest gifts ever when collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson donated a 42 postwar-pop pieces reportedly valued at $400 million. It includes some of the biggest artists of the 20th century including Warhol, Jasper Johns, Cindy Sherman, Charles Ray, Cy Twombly and Jeff Koons. Those pieces live in the Modern Wing and will stay on display for at least 50 years.
There are rooms filled with incredible photography, artifacts from Africa, Asia and elsewhere from throughout the ages, and one of the most-fun spots for kids has to be the Thorne Miniature Rooms, 68 tiny designed-to-scale recreations of European and American interiors dating back to the 13th century.
A trip to Chicago isn’t the same without a visit to the Art Institute, so be sure to schedule that into your visit.