Gallery Travels Art Institute Chicago

Right on Michigan Avenue a short walk from the water you will find a small but mighty museum in the Art Institute Chicago. I had the privilege of spending a day taking in the museum at a lazy pace.

Here are some of the highlights of the museum’s history along with some of my favorites pieces of work. 

Located in downtown Chicago, the Art Institute is one of the world’s great art museums, housing a collection that spans centuries and the globe.

The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world’s diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession’s highest ethical standards and practices.

The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for the fine arts in 1879, a critical era in the history of Chicago as civic energies were devoted to rebuilding the metropolis that had been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871. The Art Institute found its permanent home in 1893, when it moved into a building constructed on what is recognized today as the traditional homelands of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. Built jointly with the city of Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street, that building—its entry flanked by the two famous bronze lions—remains the “front door” of the museum even today.

In keeping with the academic origins of the institution, a research library was constructed in 1901; eight major expansions for gallery and administrative space have followed, with the latest being the Modern Wing, which opened in 2009. The permanent collection has grown from plaster casts to nearly 300,000 works of art in fields ranging from Chinese bronzes to contemporary design and from textiles to installation art. Together, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the museum of the Art Institute of Chicago are now internationally recognized as two of the leading fine-arts institutions in the United States.



There so many masterpieces here it’s hard to narrow down my favorites but here are a few.

Painting of a pond seen up close spotted with thickly painted pink and white water lilies and a shadow across the top third of the picture.Water Lilies, 1906Claude Monet

Painting of woman in a striped dress seated on the bank of a river, beneath a full, leafy tree, a boat at the shore and a village visible across the river.On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt, 1868Claude Monet

A crashing wave looms over two small ships, Mount Fuji in the background.Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as The Great Wave, from the series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)”, 1830/33Katsushika Hokusai

White Shell with Red, 1938Georgia O’Keeffe

Painting of the Virgin Mary ascending to heaven amongst multitude of angels.The Assumption of the Virgin, 1577–79Domenico Theotokópoulos, called El Greco


The photos of the artwork weren’t working well so please click on the links to view these great pieces. 

I would highly recommend a trip to Chicago to see the museum, take in all the great food, architecture, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum. There are also some beautiful cathedrals to attend.

Happy Travels


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