The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world’s major museums, houses an extraordinary collection of objects from across places, cultures, and times. Whether you are interested in ancient art, modern art, or anything in between, you will find something to inspire and delight you at the Art Institute. The museum offers a variety of attractions and experiences for visitors of all ages and backgrounds, such as its world-class art collections, exhibitions, programs, and events.

This article serves as your ultimate guide, providing valuable information on hours of operation, ticket options, noteworthy collections, enticing exhibitions, and exciting programs. Prepare to plan your visit with confidence, ensuring an unforgettable and fulfilling experience at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Hours and Tickets of The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago welcomes visitors daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For the convenience of Illinois residents, the museum offers extended hours until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Here are the admission fees:

  • Adults: $25
  • Seniors (65+), students (with valid ID), and teens (14-17): $19
  • Children (under 14) and members: Free
  • Illinois residents: Free on Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

To save time and skip the entrance line, consider purchasing tickets online or in person at the museum. Advanced tickets are available for special exhibitions that require an extra fee. If you plan to visit frequently, our membership program offers unlimited free admission, discounts, and other benefits.

Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago boasts an extensive and diverse collection, spanning various periods, regions, and mediums. With over 300,000 objects, our permanent collection includes ancient and contemporary art, paintings and sculptures, prints and photographs, textiles and decorative arts, and much more.

Notably, we hold one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside of France, as well as a significant American art collection.

Within our museum, you will find several iconic artworks, including

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat: A masterpiece of Pointillism, this painting portrays a scene of leisure along the Seine River near Paris. The use of tiny dots of color creates a visually stunning effect. Visit it in Gallery 240.

American Gothic by Grant Wood: Recognized as one of the most notable paintings in American art history, this iconic piece symbolizes the Midwest and its values. See it in Gallery 263.

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper: Capturing a sense of isolation and urban loneliness, this quintessential example of American realism depicts a late-night scene at a New York City diner. Discover it in Gallery 262.

The Bedroom by Vincent van Gogh: Van Gogh’s personal belongings and vibrant colors come to life in this representation of his bedroom in Arles, France. Experience it in Gallery 241.

Exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago also offers a variety of exhibitions that showcase both permanent and temporary displays of artworks from its collection or other institutions. The exhibitions feature different themes, periods, styles, and media, and provide an opportunity to explore and appreciate the diversity and richness of art.

Here are some of the current and upcoming exhibitions that you can visit at the museum:

  • Remedios Varo
  • Camille Claudel
  • Among Friends and Rivals
  • Kameelah Janan Rasheed

Remedios Varo: Science Fictions:

This exhibition presents the first major retrospective of Remedios Varo, a Spanish-born surrealist painter who created imaginative and visionary works that combined elements of science, alchemy, mysticism, and feminism.

The exhibition features more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and documents that span her career from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The exhibition is on view from July 29 to November 27, 2023, in Regenstein Hall.

Camille Claudel:

This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Camille Claudel, a French sculptor who was a student, collaborator, and lover of Auguste Rodin. The exhibition explores her artistic achievements and personal struggles, as well as her influence on modern sculpture.

Camille Claudel features more than 80 sculptures, drawings, photographs, and letters that reveal her creative process and expressive style.

The exhibition is on view from October 7, 2023, to February 19, 2024, in Galleries 182–184.

Among Friends and Rivals: Caravaggio in Rome:

This exhibition examines the artistic and social context of Caravaggio, one of the most influential and controversial painters of the Baroque era. The exhibition focuses on his early years in Rome, where he developed his distinctive style of realism, drama, and chiaroscuro.

Caravaggio in Rome features more than 40 paintings by Caravaggio and his contemporaries, such as Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia Gentileschi, Annibale Carracci, and Peter Paul Rubens.

The exhibition is on view from September 8 to December 31, 2023, in Galleries 211–214.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed: Unsewn Time:

This exhibition presents a new commission by Kameelah Janan Rasheed, a Brooklyn-based artist who works with text, sound, installation, and performance. The exhibition explores the concept of time and its relation to history, memory, identity, and futurity.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed features a large-scale installation that incorporates archival materials, photographs, prints, audio recordings, and interactive elements that invite the viewers to engage with the artist’s questions and reflections.

The exhibition is on view from August 25, 2023, to January 8, 2024, in Gallery 291.

Programs and Events at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago also offers a variety of programs and events that cater to different audiences and interests. Whether you are looking for lectures, workshops, tours, screenings, performances, or festivals, you will find something to enrich your museum experience.

Here are some of the programs and events that you can enjoy at the museum:

  • Art Exchange
  • Gallery Tour
  • Screening
  • Festival da Bahia

Art Exchange:

This is a program that invites visitors of all ages to stop by the Ryan Learning Center and explore a variety of activities, such as making art, playing games, reading books, or watching videos. You can also interact with other visitors and museum staff and share your ideas and opinions.

Art Exchange is available daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is free with museum admission.

Gallery Tour:

This is a program that offers guided tours of the museum’s collections and exhibitions by knowledgeable guides. You can learn more about the artworks, their history, context, and significance, and ask questions along the way.

Gallery tours are available daily at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and start at different locations depending on the theme. Gallery tours are free with museum admission.

Screening: Westermann—Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea:

This is a program that presents a documentary film about the life and work of H.C. Westermann, an American artist who created whimsical and provocative sculptures, drawings, and prints. The film features interviews with Westermann’s friends, family, and colleagues, as well as footage of his studio and exhibitions.

The screening will take place on October 21 at 6:00 p.m. in Rubloff Auditorium and will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers. The screening is free but requires registration.

Festival da Bahia:

This is a program that celebrates the culture and music of Bahia, a state in northeastern Brazil that has a rich Afro-Brazilian heritage. The program features live performances by local and international artists, such as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Daniela Mercury, and Carlinhos Brown. The program also includes workshops, lectures, food tastings, and a market.

The festival will take place on November 4–5 in various locations throughout the museum and is free with museum admission.

Discover the beauty and history of art from various places, cultures, and times at the Art Institute of Chicago. With a diverse collection spanning ancient to modern art, there is something to inspire and delight every art enthusiast. Explore world-class art, engaging exhibitions, educational programs, and exciting events that cater to visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Plan your visit soon to experience the accessible and relevant wonders of the museum. For more information and updates, visit the Art Institute’s website.

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