Art Institute of Chicago

There are some museums where you go and see a piece of art that is recognizable in common culture. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam holds The Night Watch by Rembrandt. The Louvre in Paris holds Mona Lisa by Da Vinci.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art has Cypresses and the Museum of Modern Art in New York has The Starry Night by van Gogh.

Art Institute of Chicago has many commonly recognizable paintings.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 110

Georges Seurat A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884 is an example of pointillism painting. 7 ft. x 10 ft. in size.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 131

Grant WoodAmerican Gothic (1931)

Wikipedia describes American Gothic as one of the most familiar images of the 20th century and one of the most parodied works of art.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 120

Vincent van Gogh – The Bedroom – 1889 (second version).

Vincent van Gogh painted three versions of The Bedroom. The first was for the arrival of Gauguin in the Yellow House where he lived in Arles. That painting resides in the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum. This second version was painted in the asylum after Vincent had self-mutilated his ear.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 103

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Two Sisters (On the Terrace) – 1881

Art Institute of Chicago building itself is a comfortable space to walk. In five hours on a couple of trips I saw only a portion of the museum exhibits. The place is a huge museum.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 097

The Woman’s Board Grand Staircase.

There are Asian, American, Antiquities, Impressionism and many other art exhibits. Multiple levels of Art Institute of Chicago means moving up and down in one area or across the museum on one floor.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 093

Relax. Take it all in.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 098

Older portion of Art Institute of Chicago established in 1879.

Chicago Rad Blu-2 132

Modern section of Art Institute of Chicago.

Ticket prices are currently $23 adult; $17 for students 14 and up and seniors 65 or older. Chicago and Illinois residents may have discount rate admission times.

I have visited the museum twice. In 2010 the museum offered a weekly free admission day, but that is now restricted to Illinois residents. In 2011 the City of Chicago CVB provided a complimentary media trip in coordination with a Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel press trip I attended.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. My wife and I visited last year and it really is a huge place. Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Two Sisters (On the Terrace) was my favorite. Love the colors. The big downside from my point of view was how long one had to stand in line to buy the ticket to get in. By the time we left the line was so long the wait for a ticket to get in would have been well over an hour.

  2. Don’t forget the six versions of Monet’s wheatstacks, charing crossing bridge and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (on loan in Paris )

  3. Just a small correction from this New Yorker – The Starry Night is in the Museum of Modern Art (and is worth the price of admission alone, IMHO) while Cypresses is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  4. Georgia O’Keeffe

    More importantly, what hotel did you stay at?

    We stayed at the Fairmont, and really enjoyed the hotel and the proximity to Millennium Park, the shore, and Wrigley Field (via the Red Line).

  5. @PSL – Thanks for the correction. I want to be sure I go to the correct museum to see Starry Night. That was the painting that turned me on to van Gogh.

    @Enjoy Fine Food – The Bank of America “Museums on Us” is a program that has put me in several museums for free.

    April 6-7 are next days for free museum admission.

    @Lark – I have several photos of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings from my 2010 trip.

  6. @UAPhil – I did not go to the Art Institute of Chicago on my February 2013 trip. I wrote my Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel post and linked back to a 2011 post where I made a list of posts I planned to write. I noticed I had never written about the Art Institute of Chicago tour I did in 2011. I am sure I wrote about the Art Institute in 2010 but I did not seek out that post.

    In short, I did not see the Picasso exhibit. I would like to see a Picasso exhibit since I really have never been turned on by Picasso pieces. I don’t think I have seen enough to appreciate his work.

    Quick story about my experience with Picasso. In 1992 I attended a Washington D.C. fundraiser at Pamela Harriman’s house in Georgetown, Washington DC for Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein when they were both running for Senate in California.

    Pamela Harriman was Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law during WWII. Later in life she married W. Averill Harriman, former NY governor.

    Walking around the Harriman rooms I noticed a painting signed by Picasso.

    Harriman sold the Picasso, a Renoir and a Matisse at a Christie’s auction in 1995 to settle lawsuits from her deceased husband’s heirs that she had squandered his estate money meant for his heirs. A failed hotel was one of the projects where she lost money.

    Picasso’s ‘Mere et enfant’ sold for $12 million.

  7. Thanks Ric.

    Really, the list of treasures at the Art Institute is so long… It was a highlight of our trip to Chicago. (almost as much fun as Wrigleyville / Cubs game! :))

Comments are closed.