When it comes to the most popular and best-loved art museums in the United States, the Art Institute of Chicago can compete at a high level with the best of them, earning a spot on the list. Founded back in 1879, the institute houses an art school, along with its multitude of classical and contemporary pieces of art. In 1893, the institute moved to where it is presently located on Michigan Avenue.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the largest art museum in the United States, second only to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and houses one of the most impressive and wide-ranging collections in the world. Since its founding in 1879, the museum has undergone a number of expansions, both in the size of the museum itself, as well as in the size of the collections it houses.
Perhaps one of the most iconic items at the institute is the pair of large, bronze lions that sit outside the entrance on Michigan Avenue. Crafted by Edward Kemeys, these statues have become a favorite attraction of tourists, as well as Chicagoans. These statues are decorated for holidays, as wel as notable sporting events, such as when in spring/summer 2010 when the Chicago Blackhawks made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. They’ve also sported large football helmets when the Chicago Bears make the playoffs.
Notable artworks include “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jette” by Georges Seurat, “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper, and “Bedroom in Arles” by Vincent Van Gogh, as well as more modern works by artists such as Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, among others.