A Location That Is Beautiful Both Inside And Out.
There are many great places to visit in Chicago, but there are few that make people reach for the camera in the way that the Art Institute of Chicago does. It’s fitting that the façade of the building should be as beautiful as the pieces that are contained within. The grand entrance is guarded by a pair of magnificent lion statues that almost dare you to make a move towards the front steps. The lions were sculpted by Edward Kemeys back in 1894, but they have not lost any of their ferocity or grandeur over the course of the passing years.
The building, which opened in 1879 and was built on top of the rubble from the Great Fire, was originally intended to be a school and a museum, but by 1890’s the original tenants have moved to greener pastures, allowing the building to become the Art Institute that we know and love today. The magnificent building has been drawing rave reviews from the very beginning, but once you step inside, it becomes instantly apparent that her beauty is more than just skin deep.
The name of the museum might very well lead you to believe that you will find nothing more than original pieces of art, but there is much more to the place than just incredible masterpieces. Art lovers will definitely rejoice, though, when they see the stunning collection of Impressionist Art on display. These are all part of the permanent collection, which includes an extensive number of Claude Monet pieces. There is also a fine collection of North American and European artwork to be found, including pieces by Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and many more. It is very easy to become lost in these magnificent pieces and the periods that they represent, so give yourself plenty of time to explore.
You will also want to save some time to visit the other parts of the museum, where you will discover an incredible selection of weapons and armor that span centuries. The Arms and Armor exhibit is definitely a must see for history buffs that have a keen interest in the battles that have been waged since the beginning of humankind. There is also plenty to see in the Asian exhibits, with artifacts that stretch back over a period of 5,000 years. There are also images of a different kind, with a beautiful collection of photographs culled from every corner of the globe.
There are plenty of things for the little ones to see while they are there, but they will be sure to get a real kick out of the Kraft Education Center where they can get interactive with the exhibits on display there. Admission to the permanent exhibits can run anywhere from $12 to $18, but kids under that age of 14 can enjoy free admission. It usually takes a few hours to really take in everything, so you might consider taking a trip on Thursday nights when admission is free between 5 and 8 P.M.
Open daily 10:30–5:00
Thursday until 8:00
The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
|Address/Map:||111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603|
|Website:||Art Institute of Chicago|
|Adult||Senior||Student||Child under 14|