Friday, January 7, 2011

Free Admission to Art Institute on Weekdays Through February 4, 2011

The Art Institute of Chicago at 111 South Michigan Ave. has instituted free weekday admission during normal museum hours through February 4, 2011. If you work in the Loop, you can actually visit the museum during your lunch hour or on your way home.

You can view Georges Seurat's famous painting for free during weekdays
A Chicago mainstay and real treasure, The Art Institute is one of the best museums of its kind anywhere in the world. Always a world-class museum, the opening of the Modern Wing last spring only burnished its reputation. As cool as the Modern Wing is, I always find myself wandering over to the Impressionist exhibit. It's one of the best in the world and includes major works by Degas, Monet, Renoir, C├ęzanne, Cassatt, and many others. One of the most famous, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges-Pierre Seura was once owned by a resident of Prairie Ave. during the late nineteenth century!

Jitish Kallat’s Public Notice 3 is exhibited on the main staircase.
A new exhibit of note is right in plain sight on the steps of the Grand Staircase. Jitish Kallat’s Public Notice 3 is a reproduction of a speech given by Swami Vivekananda on religious tolerance at one of the many world congresses held during the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition. The original Art Institute building housed these special congresses. The words from the speech are spread out on the staircase steps in the colors from the United States’ Department of Homeland Security alert system. This is the first instillation of a work by Kallat, an artist from India, in the United States.

A listing of the World's Fair "congresses" from an 1893 publication
If you enjoy the visual arts, there are some great exhibits in the Modern Wing. Check the short video below for a taste of what's in store. For a complete list of all the exhibits, be sure to check the museum Web site.

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