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“Lovely museum with a great collection French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.”

The Art Institute of Chicago
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US$35.00*
and up
Art Institute of Chicago Fast Pass Admission
Ranked #1 of 701 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: See why the Art Institute of Chicago is the only museum in the world to be top-ranked by TripAdvisor four years in a row! Experience the greatest Impressionist collection outside Paris, and view contemporary masterpieces in the spectacular Modern Wing. Stand before classics like Nighthawks, and travel the globe through galleries devoted to the art of ancient Greece, Japan, Africa, and the Americas.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Baby buggy parking
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

First, this is not a museum to try to do in a hurry. It has a large collection with many halls and many galleries, so consider making a day of it or at least a half a day visit or break visit into two hour increments over a few days. I think that we tried to tour the museum in two to three hours, which was not enough time.

The day we were there, the museum was busy but not crowded. The collection of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works is impressive with many works by Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Manet, Seurat (and other pointillists) with dashes of work by Gauguin, and other French artists, plus a few pieces by El Greco. They even have a few Toulouse-Lautrec pieces as well.

My benchmark for art museums is the Met in NYC, because it's the one I've visited first as a kid and then having re-visited it many times since. The Art Institute offers the same world class collection of well-known works, many that you've seen in print, but rarely in person.

My only complaint about the museum would be the combination of multiple galleries and confusing maps. But this is the same challenge that any large, multi-gallery, multi-floor and multi-wing art collection poses. The museum is large but manageable to visit fairly comfortably in a day. (But your feet will be tired.)

A small coffee /snack bar is tucked away near the modern art wing if you need a bit to eat and a place to sit, but it closes early.

The museum also is home to a collection of tiny / miniature rooms, the brain child of Mrs. James Ward Thorne (of Montgomery-Wards, Chicago). Constructed by master craftsmen according to Thorne's specifications, Miniature (tiny) Rooms range from late 13th century to 1930s European interiors and American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s as well. One could easily spend an hour in this collection admiring and studying the incredible detail in each re-constructed interior.

Highlight of this museum visit was spying John Lithgow strolling through a gallery as we were making our way out at closing time. I followed behind him for about 20 feet; when he stopped and turned around, I put out my hand to shake his saying how much I enjoyed his work. He graciously returned the gesture.

What a great way to end a lovely visit to a marvelous art museum.

2  Thank eakunze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"modern wing"
in 870 reviews
"van gogh"
in 633 reviews
"miniature rooms"
in 448 reviews
"chagall windows"
in 282 reviews
"famous paintings"
in 242 reviews
"la grande jatte"
in 208 reviews
"beautiful museum"
in 234 reviews
"great collection"
in 344 reviews
"world class museum"
in 353 reviews
"permanent collection"
in 186 reviews
"audio tour"
in 248 reviews
"special exhibit"
in 318 reviews
"on display"
in 415 reviews
"few hours"
in 477 reviews
"the lower level"
in 216 reviews
"rainy day"
in 188 reviews
"millennium park"
in 425 reviews
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214 - 218 of 21,202 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The Art Institvte of Chicago is deserving to be mentioned amongst the world’s great art museums. It does an excellent job of bringing art together from several different eras into one place. More impressive is that the museum remains manageable on a single visit. The impressionist collection and the American Art are standouts, but one should not overlook the outstanding collection of Ancient Greek pottery.

There can be a line for tickets, so I recommend buying tickets on your phone and then using the phone for admission through the Fast Pass line. You can even buy the tickets on the phone on the steps of the museum and use this strategy to save the ticket purchase line.

Thank ElGuru71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I enjoyed looking at all the exhibits. Some of the exhibits were not my style but it was nice seeing all things art.

Thank Amber S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is great location for all family member not only the adults but also children.
A lot of famous art works is in the museum.
It has the program and place where the children try the art work.
The souvenir store provides a lot of goods.

Thank Tomy-MundAH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I have traveled extensively and the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most accessible museums I have visited. Being from, and living in, Chicago makes this museum easy to manage, as I can visit almost any time.
For visitors to Chicago, best to divide and conquer: decide which exhibits you most want to see and spend time in those galleries, rather than trying to "see it all".
For parents with young children, be sure to visit the miniatures gallery in the lower level (although children and adults alike with be amazed at the detail that went in to constructing these amazing rooms).
Another can't miss (and only takes about 30 minutes) is the paper weight room located in the lower level. Really cool how these are actually made.
Thursday are free after 5:00P.M., so if you live in the City, take advantage as much as possible. Other days throughout the year also offer free admission, so check the website before your visit.

1  Thank romalley6419
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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