Review: The Art Institute of Chicago


The Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

The Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

By Daniela Sol 

The Art Institute of Chicago is considered to be one of the best museums in the world and has been consecutively voted such for the past years. One of the oldest and biggest museums in the USA, it is a highly-acknowledged museum in the world of art. With a magnificent permanent collection, plus highly recognized temporary exhibits, a visit to the museum is considered a great treat to anyone who enjoys art. Plus, it has one of the city’s best views and an architecture that complements the beauty of what’s inside. Both a modern and classical building, filled with grand pillars and big modern windows, it exemplifies the art collection held inside.

Containing some of the world’s most famous and greatly loved artworks, the museum naturally allows the visitor to flow within its various rooms. The Institute holds various important pieces, including one of the three copies of Van Gogh’s The Bedroom. It also displays Monet’s famous series Water Lilies plus various other art works of the French artist. One, if not the most, acclaimed art pieces from international artists that the museum displays is A Sunday Afternoon by George Seurat. Covering an entire wall of the AIC, the artist’s delicate technique can be admired with the appreciation and grace the art piece deserves. It is a treat for the eyes and a piece that makes you feel through its power its brushes and grandeur. Also exhibited in the museum is Picasso’s well-known painting from his blue period, The Old Guitarist. It is a very special painting to observe since it is a rare piece from Picasso, and very different than the traditional paintings the artist did.

The museum also holds pieces from various American artists which are not only beautiful but important for the history of the United States. Grant Wood’s American Gothic can be found in the museum; it was a very important work of art painted in the 1930s to represent America’s industrialization and leaving behind of farm life simplicity. It also holds the famous Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, easily one of the most famous paintings of 20th century American art. Another painting the Institute holds, which is not commonly known, but should be, is The Child’s Bath by Mary Cassatt. This painting by Cassatt is the only work from an American artist considered in a group of the best paintings of French Impressionism.

Furthermore, you can also find pieces from brilliant contemporary artists like Matisse, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. Containing rare pieces from all the modernists, as well as their more popular pieces, the modern part of the museum is just as exquisite as the classical. The Institute just received a unique series of self-portraits from Andy Warhol last year and 40 or so other artworks from various contemporary artists. These additions make the Contemporary Art Wing one of the best and most “complete” collections of contemporary art.     

Chicago itself is a city full of vivacious art, not just because it holds one of the most recognized museums in the United States and world, but also because it is filled with innovative artistic endeavors that go beyond the city’s great museums. It is a great city to find digital art, street art, and other upcoming and growing arts.  

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