The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) ,located in Chicago’s Grant Park , is an encyclopedic fine art museum that features one of the world’s most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its permanent collection.
The museum is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and it is the second largest art museum in the United States with one million square , behind Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In 1866, a group of 35 artists founded the Chicago Academy of Design in a studio on Dearborn Street, with the intent to run a free school with its own art gallery. The organization was modeled after European art academies, such as the Royal Academy.The Academy’s charter was granted in March 1867.
In 1882, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts changed its name to the current Art Institute of Chicago The same year, they purchased a lot on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Avenue for $45,000. The property’s building was leased, and a new building was constructed behind it to house the school’s facilities.
In 2006, the Art Institute began construction of The Modern Wing , an addition situated on the southwest corner of Columbus and Monroe. The project, designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, was officially opened to the public on May 16, 2009. The 264,000-square-foot (24,500 m2) building makes the Art Institute the second largest art museum in the United States. The building houses the museum’s world-renowned collections of 20th- and 21st-century art, specifically modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography. It also houses contemporary art from after 1960 , new photography, video media, architecture and design galleries including original renderings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Bruce Goff, temporary exhibition space, shops and classrooms , a cafe and a restaurant.
In 2009, the Modern Wing won a Chicago Innovation Awards.
Institute of Chicago is a world class museum with a collection of more than 300,000 artworks arranged within 10 curatorial departments. Its diverse holdings also include significant Old Master works, American art, European and American decorative arts, Asian art , modern and contemporary art. The diverse collection spans thousands of years and includes pieces from a variety of media including painting, prints, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, architectural drawings and more.
The Institute is probably best known for its collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings including Georges Seurat’s 1884 “A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jatte,” Renoir’s 1879 “Acrobats at the Circus Fernando” and 33 paintings by Claude Monet. The Nichols Bridgeway connects a sculpture garden on the roof of the new wing with the adjacent Millennium Park to the north and a courtyard designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.