10 Must-see works at the Art Institute of Chicago

10 Must-see works at the Art Institute of Chicago

From America Windows to American Gothic, Musement takes a look at 10 must-see works at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chicago boasts plenty to write home about: glossy architecture, the Cubs, its hot dogs, Lake Michigan, excellent food, the Pilsen neighborhood, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Founded in 1979, the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the oldest museums in the United States and the county’s second-largest, warrants a visit in and of itself. The collection contains 300,000 artworks among 11 curatorial departments, spanning 5,000 years and various cultures.

At nearly one million square feet, the vast museum covers a lot of ground, so we thought we’d help you out. Here are ten works you shouldn’t miss at the Art Institute of Chicago.

1. American Gothic , Grant Wood, 1930

One of the most important modern art paintings, Grant Wood’s American Gothic features a farmer and his daughter in front of an American Gothic-style home in Iowa, the farmer clutching a pitchfork. This pop-culture phenomenon has been parodied dozens of times over the years.

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Grant Wood (1891 – 1942): American Gothic, 1930, 78 cm × 65 cm, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago 🇬🇧 .. This familiar image was exhibited publicly for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago, winning instant fame for Grant Wood. The impetus for the painting came while Wood was visiting the small town of Eldon in his native Iowa. There he spotted a little wood farmhouse, with a single oversized window, made in a style called Carpenter Gothic. He used his sister and his dentist as models for a farmer and his daughter, dressing them as if they were “tintypes from my old family album.” The highly detailed, polished style and the rigid frontality of the two figures were inspired by Flemish Renaissance art style. American Gothic, often understood as a satirical comment on the midwestern character, quickly became one of America’s most famous paintings and is now firmly entrenched in the nation’s popular culture. The man and woman, in their solid and well-crafted world, with all their strengths and weaknesses, represent survivors. 🇹🇷 … Bu tanıdık görüntü ilk kez Chicago Sanat Enstitüsü'nde halka açık bir alanda sergilendi ve Grant Wood için anında ün kazandı. Resmin ilham gücü Wood, memleketi Lowa'daki küçük Eldon kasabasını ziyaret ettiği sırada geldi. Orada, Carpenter Gotik tarzında yapılmış tek pencereli küçük bir ahşap çiftlik evini fark etti. Kız kardeşi ve dişçisini bir çiftçi ve kızı için model olarak kullandı ve sanki onları “eski aile albümümden tipler” gibi giydirdi. İki figürün son derece ayrıntılı, parlak stili ve sert cephesi, Flaman Rönesans sanat stilinden ilham aldı. Genellikle orta batı karakterine hicivli bir yorum olarak anlaşılan Amerikan Gotik, hızla Amerika'nın en ünlü resimlerinden biri haline geldi ve şimdi ülkenin popüler kültürüne sıkıca yerleşti. Erkek ve kadın, sağlam ve iyi hazırlanmış dünyalarında hala, tüm güçlü ve zayıf yanlarıyla hayatta kalanları temsil etmekte. #Theartagnan #GrantWood #AmericanGothic #AmerikanGotiği #ArtInstituteofChicago #Chicago #Masterpiece #Art #👫 #🏡

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2. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1884 – 1886

Another iconic image and also the subject of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George musical, is an exquisite pointillist composition depicting Parisians spending a leisurely Sunday afternoon in a park on its titular island located in the River Seine.

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Seurat's artwork 'Bathers at Asnières' preceded 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte', which shows people on the bank of the other side of the river. While the Bathers at Asnières on the left bank are working-class people, it is the bourgeoisie who are on the right bank. Seurat's message has been interpreted as implying that the working class represented the future, while the middle classes had grown decrepit and ridden with vice. Using newly discovered optical and colours theories, the artist's technic contrasted miniature dots or small brushstrokes of colors that when unified optically in the human eye were perceived as a single shade or hue. _ A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1884 © The Art Institute of Chicago

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3. The Bedroom, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

The second of three versions of the artist’s bedroom at his home in Arles, the work exhibits Van Gogh’s approach to color and his intricate brush strokes. He actually painted this from memory during his time in a psychiatric hospital.

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Vincent van Gogh moved into his "Yellow House" in Arles, France in 1888. The moment marked the first time the artist had a home of his own, and he immediately and enthusiastically set about decorating, painting a suite of canvases to fill the walls. Completely exhausted from the effort, Van Gogh spent two-and-a-half days in bed and was then inspired to create a painting of his bedroom for the first time. He so highly esteemed the work that he made three distinct versions: the first, now in the collection of the @vangoghmuseum; the second, belonging to the Art Institute, painted a year later on the same scale; and a third, smaller canvas in the collection of the @museeorsay, which he made as a gift for his mother and sister. Van Gogh’s short, nomadic life was characterized by a constant search for a home and place to belong. Although he never found the permanent haven he so desired, his memory endures as one of the world’s most beloved artists. See Van Gogh's work on view at the Art Institute.

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4. Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942

This image depicts four night owls seated in a diner on a quiet New York City street corner. Light beams out from the facade, brightening the dark and desolate sidewalk. A couple sits on one side of the bar and a man on the other while the man behind the counter tends to them. It’s mysterious, poignant, and lonely—the boundary of the glass window enhances the silence of the street corner for viewers.

5. Water Lilies, Monet, 1906

One of 250 depictions of his home in Giverny, Monet’s Water Lilies work at the Art Institue of Chicago includes his Japanese footbridge, which appears in 17 of the series’ paintings.

6. The Child’s Bath, Mary Cassatt, 1893

The only American artist (and one of a few females) to participate in the Impressionist Exhibition, Mary Cassatt is known for a soft delicate style and pastels. Her work captures domestic life, particularly women, with a tender, feminine touch. Cassatt attended an 1890 exhibition of Japanese prints at Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and incorporate some Janapense influences into the work.

7. The Old Guitarist , Pablo Picasso, 1903 – 1904

Arguably the most significant painting of the artist’s Blue Period, The Old Guistarist portrays a gaunt old blind man in threadbare clothing sitting on a Barcelona street, hunched over his guitar. Picasso painted this at a point in his career where he focused on the downtrodden, and the powerful image is evocative and even heartbreaking.

8. America Windows, Marc Chagall, 1977

This Russian-French Modernist artist is associated with many styles and mediums, one of which is stained glass. Though he uses mostly religious symbolism, this trio of windows falls on the secular side, implementing symbols from American history, the Chicago skyline, and the arts.

9. Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte, 1877

An Impressionist who leaned toward realism, Gustave Caillebotte also had an interest in photography, which comes across in the work. Paris Street; Rainy Day shows an everyday street scene of pedestrians passing through the Place de Dublin (formerly the Carrefour de Moscou) in the eighth arrondissement of Paris.

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BACK ON VIEW—Gustave Caillebotte's "Paris Street; Rainy Day" returns to our galleries of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. The painting dominated the celebrated Impressionist exhibition of 1877, largely organized by the artist himself. Its highly crafted surface, rigorous perspective, and grand scale pleased Parisian audiences accustomed to the academic aesthetic of the official Salon. On the other hand, its asymmetrical composition, unusually cropped forms, rain-washed mood, and candidly contemporary subject stimulated a more radical sensibility. In many ways, Caillebotte’s frozen poetry of the Parisian bourgeoisie prefigures Georges Seurat’s luminous "Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884," painted less than a decade later. See "Paris Street; Rainy Day" on view in Gallery 201.

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10. Two Sisters (On the Terrace), Pierre August Renoir, 1881

One of Renoir’s most notable works, Two Sisters (On the Terrace) is an endearing portrait of two young girls seated on a restaurant terrace with the Seine behind them. One is holding a basket of wool and they’re both accessorized with florals. The painting evokes is sweet and beautiful, and evokes a sense of joy and conviviality.

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My Dear Sister You may fall but I have your back You may forget, but your schedule I have on track You may forget me, but I won’t you You may not remember what to do But in this fight we’ll walk side by side But whenever you need I’ll give you a ride My Dear Sister Do not fret I’ll be the very best friend you’ve ever met My dear sister when you are in need The very words you say I will take heed My Dear Sister I love you so much When your spirit wounded my shoulder is you crutch Chocolate Bunny . 📌 Two Sisters On the Terrace 👨🏽‍🎨Pierre-Auguste Renoir 🏛Art Institute of Chicago #pierreaugusterenoir #renoirpainting #chocolatebunny #poetry #loveart #sisters #twosistersontheterrace #photooftheday #bestpicart #artandpoetry

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