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Oriental Institute Museum enhances understanding

Oriental Institute Museum Oriental Institute Museum Photo by Trjames (Own work) via Wikimedia

The Middle East is often referred to as the Cradle of Civilization. Visit the Oriental Institute Museum at Chicago University to find out why.

When most people think of the Orient they think of Asian countries in the Far East, but archeologically and historically speaking, the Orient as defined as the Ancient Middle East, including such countries at Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Oriental Institute exhibits arts and artifacts from these countries in order to help increase understanding of the importance these lands had on developments in other cultures of the world.

The Institute as located at the University of Chicago, Admission is always free, but they do accept suggested donations for $10 for adults and $5 for kids younger than 12 years old.

The Museum offers guided tours for different size groups. Some specific tours include a film for different ages groups. The Gallery tour lasts about 1 hour for groups as large as 60 people. There is no charge for school groups. Community groups costs $10 each and seniors are $7. A Gallery tour with one of the films is $3 for kids, $13 for community, and $10 for seniors. Longer, more elaborate tours with films geared toward specific age groups last about 2 hours.

For those who wish to take self-guided tours there is a printable guidebook available on the official website and there are bilingual interactive kiosks located throughout the exhibits, as well as activity cards to build interest and knowledge.

Although pictures in the gallery are okay, they prefer that no auxiliary equipment be used such as tripods and external lighting. You may sketch, but you must have a pencil and notebook or clipboard.

For the sake of the displays no food or drink is permitted in the Gallery; nor are backpacks, umbrellas and larger bags. This is just common sense. They also request that phones be turned off inside the Gallery.

Memberships are available to those who wish to contribute to the institute. There are several levels for incrementally more valuable benefits to the user and the community. The least expensive membership is called the Friends of Oriental Institute, which costs $40 for the member.


Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (to 8:30 p.m. on Wed)
Sunday noon - 6 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and Major Holidays
Address/Map:  1155 E 58th St Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 702-9520
Website: Oriental Institute Museum
Suggested Donation: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children under 12.