Having just gone to the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks ago, I thought it would be a great time to visit the Art Institute of Chicago while the experience was still fresh. As you walk up Michigan Avenue, the great lion statue greets guests as they arrive. Inside, cashiers move the ticket line with the speed of a gazelle, while there is another line to check coats and handbags large enough to hold small animals.
I prefer to start my visit by walking upstairs through a never-ending collection of paintings with themes ranging from landscapes to religious imagery. Maybe the Art Institute has a more extensive collection of artwork based on Christian religion, because I don’t remember many paintings on the subject at the MET. Traveling through the halls, you can imagine the Pemberley like homes where these paintings once hung.
Making my way back to the main floor, I love taking in sculpture from both Asian and African cultures before heading to the American Wing. Upon entry, you are greeted by statues of Indian warriors while a painting of a spirited cowboy hangs in the background. Close by is Frederic Remington’s painting, “The Mexican Major,” with furniture from our early years as a country around the corner. In the next hall, I see a statue of Lincoln, always in deep thought. You can easily spend hours in this institution reliving history, and I highly suggest you do!
For me, the Art Institute is like a maze with little nooks that you don’t want to miss. They have a tour app that you can download to help guide you through each exhibit. Personally, I prefer to walk through on my own without the soundtrack of someone else’s voice. In each exhibit there is a staff member standing by to answer questions, point you in the right direction, and make sure you are not taking pictures with flash, I thought everyone knew that rule, but apparently not. Feel free to share your experience at the Art Institute of Chicago and maybe we can compare notes!