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Chicago Art Museum - Must-Sees at the Chicago Art Museum

pieces institute wing modern

Chicago has long been one of our country’s true cultural hubs, so it comes as no surprise that the city is home to several art museums. Of course when people refer to a Chicago art museum, the first one that comes to mind is the Art Institute of Chicago. This Chicago art museum is not only the largest in the city, it’s the second largest art museum in the United States and houses some of the most famous paintings in the world.

The Art Institute of Chicago attracts millions of visitors every year, but its collection is so expansive that it’s virtually impossible to see everything in one day. If you’re planning to make a visit to this venerable Chicago art museum, then let us help you to plan your trip around the museum’s most notable pieces.

The Art Institute is probably best known for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces. Fortunately, all of the pieces in this genre are housed in the same wing, making it an obvious first stop. In this area, you’ll see over 30 works by Claude Monet, including his oft-cited haystack and waterlily studies. You’ll also see the full and final version of Seurat’s iconic pointlist piece, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Van Gogh fans will be privy to one of the artist’s haunting self-portraits as well as his Bedroom in Arles in which he depicts the room he once shared with his fellow artist, Gauguin. This wing also features work by other notable artists of the era like Renoir, Cezanne, Cassatt, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec.

This Chicago art museum also specializes in American works. Few other paintings have had the same pop culture impact as Grant Wood’s American Gothic, though the collective works of Norman Rockwell and his colleague Edward Hopper give us an intimate glimpse at a bygone age in American history. Of course if your tastes run more modern then you can head downstairs to view game-changing pieces by eccentric legends like Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

Just last year, the museum opened a large new Modern Wing which includes works by Magritte, Picasso and Matisse. The Art Institute of Chicago museum also has an extensive collection of artifacts and furniture. And every year a handful of major collections – both classic and modern – are featured as temporary exhibitions, so there’s always something new and inspiring to see. Visitors can buy print versions of their favorite pieces in the museum’s gift shop, can peruse work for sale by up-and-coming local artists, and can even enjoy fine food among this Chicago art museum’s fine art at one of the establishment’s three different restaurants including the award-winning Terzo Piano.

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