Chicago is home to one of America's most important art museums, the Art Institute of Chicago. Located in an enormous Beaux-Arts complex, this architecturally impressive building holds some 260,000 works from around the world and is most renowned for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. From Seurat's Sunday on the Grand Jatte to Picasso's Old Guitarist to Warhol's Four Mona Lisas there is much to cover. On this three-hour Art Institute of Chicago Tour led by an art historian, curator, or artist, we’ll delve not only into the museum’s diverse collection, but discuss the its history and the wealthy patrons, industrialists, and donors that created it.
Working Outside In
We will begin our Art Institute of Chicago Tour by touching upon the architecture of the building and the various phases it has seen since the 1890s. Our tour will have an architectural slant, but before beginning we will discuss the various rooms and collections on offer to our group. Not only will we talk about the paintings and other works themselves, but we’ll also discuss their relationship and link to the city of Chicago. The identity of the artwork will be placed in context both geographically and thematically. Our route may take a number of twists and turns throughout the museum according to the interests of our group.
Art Institute of Chicago Tour
The most popular collections within the museum tend to be the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces, so our docent will make sure to discuss in detail a few works within this sphere. From Toulouse-Lautrec to Mary Cassat, our docent will select carefully to enable a rich narrative within this era. Following on from this, a must-see in the Art Institute is A Sunday on La Grand Jatte by George Seurat, a 2 year masterpiece and a great example of what is now known as pointillism. We may continue onto the modern collections, picking out revered Picasso’s before glancing Chagall’s stained glass.
Asian and American Collections
The Asian Collection is another highlight of our Art Institute of Chicago Tour; the building itself is designed by Japanese architect Tado Ando. Home to works spanning nearly five millennia from China, Korea, Japan, India, southeast Asia, and the Near and Middle East, there are 35,000 objects of interest. We will touch on a handful in detail. It’s hard to leave the institute without seeing the American Art collection. From Hopper’s Nighthawks (arguably one of the most recognisable American artworks) to Grant Wood’s American Gothic, we will delve into the enduring influence of the American sphere of art. We’ll be sure to both examine well-known highlights and uncover unexpected delights, tracing the connections between and importance of all of the pieces.
Unearthing the Unexpected
The Medieval and Renaissance Art collection has recently been restored and offers a wonderful contrast to the more popular styles on show. We may touch on these collections, even adding the Byzantine and Ancient Galleries for a more offbeat examination of this building. As a result of visiting these often overlooked collections, we will engage in art from periods that might be a little less familiar, but important in understanding the development of western art.
Interested in holistic look at the city’s history? We suggest our Chicago Art Tour
which explores public art in the city’s Loop neighborhood.
We’ll leave one another with an increased awareness of the importance of the Art Institute for the city of Chicago and its place on the world stage. We will have gained a fuller appreciation for the eclecticism of the Art Institute’s collection, the building’s architecture, and the movements and eras of art that are contained therein.
I don't see the ticket option for Illinois or Chicago resident?
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I have a particular area I am interested in or a collection I'd love to see. Can this be arranged?
Most likely yes, please let us know in your client booking note your interests and this will greatly help your expert prepare.