Art Institute of Chicago

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The Art Institute of Chicago was voted by Trip Advisor as the #1 museum in the world and it’s located near Grant Park at 111 South Michigan Avenue.  It was established in 1879 and houses over 300,000 pieces of art over about 1 million square feet. The museum houses art from all around the world and an eclectic collection of modern art spread out throughout four floors and is the second largest art museum in the United States. It also houses the Ryerson and Burnham libraries. The lower level includes a museum cafe which is open to all and set up a bit like a cafeteria and members lounge where members can go to sit, look through books, and enjoy complimentary tea or coffee that cannot leave the room. The lower level also includes several exhibits. The 1st floor or the main level is the only way to get from building to building, everything is connected through the main floor, it’s also the floor tickets are bought, coats can be checked and both museum shops are located. The second level house their Impressionism collection including works like “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat and several paintings by Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh amongst many others. “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper can also be found on the 2nd floor in their Modern American Art exhibit.

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Caffe Moderno can also be found on the second floor which is a restaurant where you can get a quick meal of soup or salads and paninis. On the third floor contemporary sculpture and modern art can be found along with Terzo Piano, an Italian restaurant. There are a lot of different exhibits and the museum tends to be somewhat busy constantly. I tend to find myself pretty exhausted, which makes sense with how big the museum is, if I’m there too long and still don’t think I’ve seen everything they have in the galleries. If you pick up a map they include notes on how to hit the highlights in the museum within about an hour. They also host free days for Illinois residents like all of the museums in Chicago.

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