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Art Institute of Chicago

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Europa
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« on: July 25, 2007, 10:14:12 pm »



 
Established 1879; in present location since 1893
Location 111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, USA
Visitor figures 1,441,000 (2006)
Director Eloise W. Martin
Website www.artic.edu/aic
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Europa
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 10:15:50 pm »

The Art Institute of Chicago is a fine art museum located near the Loop community in Chicago, Illinois. The Museum is overseen by President James Cuno. The Museum is known for its extensive collection of Impressionist and American art. It is located on the western edge of Grant Park, at 111 South Michigan Avenue in the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District, in a building designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge (1892).

The Art Institute of Chicago Building was originally constructed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition as the World's Congress Auxiliary Building, with the intent that the Art Institute occupy the space after the fair closed.
Today, the museum is most famous for its collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and American paintings. Included in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection are more than 30 paintings by Claude Monet, including six of his Haystacks and a number of Water Lilies. Important works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, such as Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise (The Rowers’ Lunch) and Two Sisters (On the Terrace), as well as Paul Cézanne’s The Bathers, The Basket of Apples, and Madame Cézanne in a Yellow Chair, are in the collection. At the Moulin Rouge, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is another highlight, as is Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day. Non-French paintings completing the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection include Vincent Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles and Self-portrait, 1887. Among the most important works of the American collection are Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

The museum has much more than paintings, however. Fine sculptures from all over the world can be seen. In the basement are the Thorne Rooms. There are exact miniatures demonstrating American and European architectural and furniture styles. Also in the basement are galleries displaying its world-class photography collection. On the main floor is the George F. Harding collection of arms and armor reflecting armaments and armor throughout the Medieval period and Renaissance. A fine collection of Pre-Columbian Meso-American ceramic figures is another outstanding display. A special feature of the museum is a “touchable” statue for the blind, and for children. It is an expressive facial portrait of young St. Joan d’Arc.

The Art Institute's famous western entrance on Michigan Avenue is guarded by two bronze lion statues created by Edward L. Kemeys. When a Chicago sports team makes the playoffs, the lions are frequently dressed in that team’s uniform. Just inside the eastern doors is a reconstruction of the trading room of the old Chicago Stock Exchange. Designed by Louis Sullivan in 1894, the Exchange was torn down in 1972. Salvaged portions of the original room were brought to the Art Institute and reconstructed. Leaving the Art Institute through the east doors at the end of the driveway is the Stock Exchange entrance.


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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 10:16:37 pm »

Modern Art Wing

The Museum is in the midst of a major expansion to create a new Modern Art Wing to house its modern art collection. The structure, designed by Renzo Piano and scheduled to open to the public in 2009, will include a bridge connecting the top floor of the new wing with the popular Chicago Millenium Park to the north. The addition will also include a courtyard designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol.

The Art Institute hopes that the new addition will draw added attention to its 20th Century collections, which include such important paintings as Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Henri Matisse’s Bathers by a River, and René Magritte’s Time Transfixed. The curators of the museum believe that its modern collections are on par with the best in the world, "comparable only to those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Pompidou Centre in Paris."[1] They also note that "No other encyclopedic museum in the United States or any other country has collections of modern and contemporary art to rival those of the Art Institute." The modern collection, they concede, has been overshadowed in the past by the Art Institute’s extraordinary 19th century collection.
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 10:17:38 pm »



Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seurat
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 10:18:23 pm »



The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 10:19:12 pm »



Nighthawks by Edward Hopper
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 10:20:00 pm »



St. Joan, a tactile statue for the blind and children
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 10:21:04 pm »



Armor
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