Absorb Art in Chicago

Art is everywhere is Chicago, and one can enjoy many outdoor exhibitions, in the streets, squares and parks as well as visit in the great and diverse art museums and galleries spread all over the city.

Arts in the Parks

The Millennium Park is a home to several art installations, the most famous ones are the Cloud Gate and the Crown Fountain.

The Cloud Gate is a 42 feet tall, made from stainless-steel plates connected together.
It was created by the artist Anish Kapoor and since its dedication in 2006 it became an icon of the city.

The Crown Fountain is a video sculpture presented by LED lights installed on two 50 feet towers between them is a black granite reflecting pool.
Water are spouting from a nozzle at the lower part of the tower.

The sculpture was dedicated in 2006 and created by Jaume Plensa.

Grant park is home to the famous Buckingham Fountain.
The Fountain was a gift to city from Kate Sturges Buckingham, built in 1927, and is still one of the largest fountains in the world (May through October it operates on the hour for 20 minutes of water, light, and music show, between 9AM-10:30PM).

Another art installation in Grant Park is “Agora” by the polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz.
It contains 106 headless and armless iron sculptures.
The name Agora refers to the urban meeting places of the Ancient Greek.

Dedicated in 2006 as a permanent loan from the Polish Ministry of Culture.

This is one of the few public art work presented in the city that is #MadeByWomen.

At the Chicago Women’s Park & Garden is the sculpture Helping Hands commemorating Jane Addams, created by the artist Louise Bourgeois.

Another destination for public art is along the Chicago Riverwalk, some of the sculptures are on display temporarily, and some are permanent, such as the statues of 8 American merchants, known as the the Merchandise Mart Hall of Fame.
The statues are facing the entrance of The Merchandise Mart, the world’s largest wholesale buying center.

The statues were installed in 1953 all made by different artists.
The statue of Robert Elkington Wood was made by Minna Harkavyone (#MadeByWomen).

Another art installation on theMART is the art exhibition projected on theMART, a commercial building, daily after sunset.


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Check out WWP full must visit parks list, including parks around Chicago honoring women.

Arts in the Squares

Downtown Chicago is like an open gallery in the public space, presenting some magnificent sculptures made by known artists (some of them are women).
Here are some of the main ones:

A 53-foot tall sculpture created by Alexander Calder, located at Federal Center Plaza since 1974, creating a nice contrast of red, open shape sculpture on the background of the black rectangular buildings.

Created by Jean Dubuffet in 1984, located at the James R. Thompson Center Plaza.

credit – photographer Antonio Vernon, Wikipedia.

A beautiful colorful mosaic, created by Marc Chagall, located at the base of Chase Tower.

Created by Joan Miró in 1981 between skyscrapers at 69 W Washington St.
It presents a 40-foot-tall abstract figure of a woman.

A 50-foot-tall sculpture designed by Pablo Picasso, located at Daley Plaza.
It was the first public sculpture installed in the Loop, in 1967.

Indoor Art

Indoor art can be seen in lots of Chicago museums and galleries.

One of the oldest and largest Art institutes in the US with permanent collection of 300,000 art works and 30 special exhibitions every year presenting large variety of art works from Chinese bronzes to contemporary design and from textiles to installation art.
Among the famous items on view are works by Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Cindy Sherman, Mary Cassatt and more.

The museum offers free guided tours, the regular one presents the highlights of the museum (a good starting point) while some are based on specific subject as female artists in the museum. Check out the calendar for special events such as lectures, painting in the galleries and concerts.

This museum is huge and there is lots to see, we recommend to plan your visit based on the museum’s map and your interests.

Open daily 10:30 AM – 5 PM, Thursdays till 8 PM. Free to Illinois residents every Thursday, 5:00–8:00
For more information check the museum’s website.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611.

An innovative art museum presents art work based on its mission “to exhibit new and experimental work in all media, paired with ambitious education programs”.

On display are its 2500 items from the permanent collection presented in rotating exhibitions, as well as guest exhibitions that varies every few months.

Gallery tours are offered daily in addition to lectures, connects, meeting with artists and more.

Open daily 10 AM – 5 PM, Tuesday and Friday till 9 PM . Free to Illinois residents on Tuesdays.
For more information check the museum’s website.

Located in the heart of Lincoln Park on DePaul University’s campus.
The museum presents temporary exhibitions as well as exhibitions from its permanent collection of more than 3,500 objects with strengths in international modern and contemporary art.

Open Wednesday and Thursday: 11 AM –7 PM, Friday – Sunday: 11 AM –5PM . Free admission.
For more information check the museum’s website.

The National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608.


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Located at the heart of the Mexican community of Chicago.
The museum presents rotating exhibitions from its permanent collection which has more than 10000 Mexican art and culture items from 3000 years of creativity of Mexican culture created in Mexico and in the US.

In addition, the museum organizes many educational programs and public events.

Open – Tuesday – Sunday, 10AM–5PM, free admission.
For more information check the museum’s website.

The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC)
3015 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622.

The only museum in the nation dedicated to presenting Puerto Rican art and culture.

Located in in the historic Humboldt Park Stables in a beautiful Queen-Anne style facility, includes galleries and a courtyard adorned with mosaic artwork.

Open – Tuesday–Friday, 10AM–5PM Saturday, 10AM–2PM, free admission.
For more information check the museum’s website.


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Founded in 1992 by Kelly Hensen and Beate Minkovski to present and promote female artists.
Till 2019 more then 8000 women presented their work and the numbers are increasing with the different exhibitions presented every year.

Open – Thursday – Friday 12-6 PM, Saturday – Sunday 12 – 4 PM
For more information check this link.

A cooperative gallery space of different kinds of artist, co-founded by the artist, Robin Monique Rios, in 2003.

Open studio event is happening on the 3rd Friday of every month from 6pm-10pm.
For more information check the museum’s website.

A unique none traditional art museum is offering an art and technology experience. Home to the Infinity Mirror Room by the iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama as well as many changing interactive exhibitions of stunning art installations with innovative technologies. A great place to admire different use of technology and to take lots of Instagram photos.

Open – Wednesday–Friday & Sunday: 12–7 PM, Saturday: 10 AM – 9 PM, Monday-Tuesday: closed.
For more information check the museum’s website.

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