The Chicago Art Institute

...amazing art from all over the world!

Close up of enterence.

Founded as the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1879, The Chicago Art Institute is one of those must sees.

The Chicago Art Institute has a collection of over 4,500 paintings. Which are staggered over three levels and has art from over 50 countries on 6 continents.

Asian Art

The first level contains Asian art, and art that is not associated with any particular school of thought.

The Asian galleries have over 35,000 pieces from China, Korea, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia.

You will find the oldest pieces of art on this level dating back almost 5,000 years ago along with other pieces dating close to that age as well, so take your time on this level and enjoy the history all around you.

The paintings you must see on this level would have to be the ceramic vases, jars and bowls from the Ming Dynasty, and all of the Japanese woodblock prints.

Contemporary Art

There are also contemporary pieces of art. This gallery generally has its focus on political, social, or economical themes.

There are about 1,000 examples of contemporary art like photos, videos, and large-scale installation pieces.

These are very beautiful and at the same time very bizarre.

I think it is amazing what some people can come up with... their creativity has left an impact on our world now and for many centuries to come.

My favorite two pieces in this section of the institute are:

  • Jackson Pollack's "The Key"
  • Eva Hesse's "Hang Up"

Both very beautiful and creative.

There are other exhibits on the first level that you should check out:

  • McCormick Sculpture Court
  • Suit of Arms Collections
  • Icons of Divinity

The Second Level

On the second level, you will find modern, European paintings and sculptures, and American.

The modern art is very challenging to make sense of because of how they were designed. Invented realities from the minds divide modern art from the rest and is my favorite of all the categories because of that.

I love looking at a picture and trying to figure out what I'm looking at.

My favorites, and the ones you should definitely check out are Salvador Dalo's "Visions of Eternity" and Vincent Van Gogh's "Self Portrait".

European Art

The European paintings and sculptures category is all about impressionism. You can see it in all the art and that’s what makes these works of art so different.

Most of the pieces are based on religious, political subjects, and focus on people’s lives.

My favorite piece in this section would probably be Marc Chagall's "White Crucifixion". It's very religious and is very detailed.

American Art

Americans created a fast sweeping movement called Regionalism. The art of this period depicted hard-working Americans trying to make it through the Great Depression.

The American art traces back to the early 1800's with the Native Americans making their great art, but it wasn't until the 20th century when American art was solidified into the art world.

American artists have produced some of the most famous paintings, and there all here at the Chicago Art Institute.

My favorite would have to be Grant Woods "American Gothic", a very famous painting.

Last But Not Least... The Third Level

Here you will find Kraft Education Center and Thorne Miniature Rooms among other things.

The Kraft Education Center and the "Faces, Places & Inner Spaces" exhibit is there to encourage you to think creative and independently.

There are different stations that focus on different aspects of art. You can dress up as a Kabuki theater performer, analyze different features of paintings, and teach the basics of making art.

A lot of fun for all ages and very educational.

The Thorne Miniature Rooms

The Thorne Miniature Rooms exhibit is where you will find the world's largest collection of miniature rooms in the entire world.

68 individual rooms total.

While your there, also check out the Touch Gallery and if you're hungry, The Café.

For a more formal dining experience, go to The Garden Restaurant which includes great food and a full bar with wine list.

The Chicago Art Institute is doing a great job at keeping art a live for generations to come to appreciate. It's really an interesting and fun time, so check it out if you’re ever in the city.