The city of Chicago, Illinois has many cultural institutions and museums, large and small. Major cultural institutions include:
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. The largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. The goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public.
The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago's Grant Park, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognized for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million guests annually. Its collection, stewarded by 11 curatorial departments, is encyclopedic, and includes iconic works such as Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist, Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, and Grant Wood's American Gothic. Its permanent collection of nearly 300,000 works of art is augmented by more than 30 special exhibitions mounted yearly that illuminate aspects of the collection and present cutting-edge curatorial and scientific research.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) was founded by Theodore Thomas in 1891. The ensemble makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival. The music director is Riccardo Muti, who began his tenure in 2010. The CSO is one of five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five".
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1954, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma. The company was re-organized by Fox in 1956 under its present name and, after her 1981 departure, it has continued to be of one of the major opera companies in the United States. The Lyric is housed in the Civic Opera Building, which the company now owns.
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The Chicago Cultural Center, opened in 1897, is a Chicago Landmark building operated by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events that houses the city's official reception venue where the Mayor of Chicago has welcomed Presidents and royalty, diplomats and community leaders. It is located in the Loop, across Michigan Avenue from Millennium Park. Originally the central library building, it was converted in 1977 to an arts and culture center at the instigation of Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg. The city's central library is now housed across the Loop in the spacious, post-modernist Harold Washington Library Center opened in 1991.
DePaul University is a private, Roman Catholic university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th-century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul. In 1998, it became the largest Catholic university by enrollment in the United States. In 2018 it was still considered nation's largest Catholic university. Following in the footsteps of its founders, DePaul places special emphasis on recruiting first-generation students and others from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of and appreciation for intuitive and outsider art through a program of education and exhibition. Since its founding in 1991, Intuit has emerged as an international leader in the field of outsider art. Intuit boasts a worldwide membership, a published magazine The Outsider, and a growing and respected permanent collection. Intuit is located at 756 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois in West Town, Chicago.
The James Charnley Residence, also known as the Charnley-Persky House, is a historic house museum at 1365 North Astor Street in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Built in 1892, it is one of the few surviving residential works of Louis Sullivan, and features major contributions by Frank Lloyd Wright, who was then working as a draftsman in Sullivan's office. The house is operated as a museum and organization headquarters by The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH). The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation, is a nonprofit cultural organization based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, whose mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters. Founded in 1966, its programs include public tours and programs, most notably the docent-led architecture cruise on the Chicago River, and other tours in the Chicago area. The river cruise is ranked in the top ten tours in the U.S. by TripAdvisor users. CAC includes conference and exhibition space, including a scale model of downtown Chicago.
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is a museum located at 40 East Erie Street on the Near North Side in Chicago, Illinois, near the Magnificent Mile. The museum is housed within the historic Samuel M. Nickerson House, the 1883 residence of a wealthy Chicago banker. Although the mansion has been restored, the Driehaus Museum does not re-create the Nickerson period but rather broadly interprets and displays the prevailing design, architecture, and decorating tastes of Gilded Age America and the art nouveau era in permanent and special exhibitions.
Bronzeville Children's Museum is a museum in the Calumet Heights community area of the South Side of Chicago. It is the first and only African American children's museum in the United States. Founded in 1998, the museum moved to its current location at 9301 South Stony Island Avenue in the Pill Hill neighborhood in 2008.
The Chicago Children's Museum is located at Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1982 by The Junior League of Chicago who were responding to programming cutbacks in the Chicago Public Schools. Originally housed in two hallways of the Chicago Public Library, it soon began to offer trunk shows and traveling exhibits in response to capacity crowds on-site.
Chicago History Museum was founded in 1856 to study and interpret Chicago's history. It is located in Lincoln Park at 1601 North Clark Street at the intersection of North Avenue in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood. It was renamed the Chicago History Museum in September 2006.
The Chicago Maritime Museum is a maritime society and museum dedicated to the study and memorialization of Chicago's maritime traditions. The museum's webpage asserts that Lake Michigan and the Chicago River were key factors in Chicago's growth toward status as a world-class city, and pays tribute to Congress for granting lake frontage in 1818 to the infant state of Illinois. The museum opened in June 2016.
The Henry B. Clarke House is a Greek Revival style house in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Henry Brown Clarke was a native of New York State who had come to Chicago in 1833 with his wife, Caroline Palmer Clarke, and his family. He entered into the hardware business with William Jones and Byram King, establishing King, Jones and Company, and provided building materials to the growing Chicago populace. The house was built in circa 1836 by a local contractor, probably John Rye, who later married the Clarkes' housemaid, Betsy.
Sarah Sze is a contemporary artist known for sculpture and installation works that employ everyday objects to create multimedia landscapes. Sze lives and works in New York City and is a professor of visual arts at Columbia University.
Roger Brown (1941–1997) was an American artist and painter. Often associated with the Chicago Imagist school, he was internationally known for his distinctive painting style and shrewd social commentaries on politics, religion, and art.
Arthur Green is one of the original Hairy Who members from Chicago, a group of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who exhibited together in the 1960s and 1970s and turned to representational art with a slight surrealist touch. He was also a member of the University of Waterloo's faculty for over 30 years. His painting style mixes pop-art motifs with surrealist tendencies, creating a contained tension between order and chaos, rationalism and irrationalism. His upbringing in Chicago and its vicinity surely influenced him, from the accessibility to masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago to the grand architecture of Louis Sullivan, but also advertisements from the 1940s and 1950s that oozed with undertones of sexuality. His paintings draw from American popular imagery, but complicate them, often using the full spectrum of vibrant colors and combining trompe l'oeil effects to play with the viewer's sense of balance.
"America's Favorite Architecture" is a list of buildings and other structures identified as the most popular works of architecture in the United States.
Bill Shannon is an American artist who resides in Brooklyn. Shannon holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Born with a degenerative hip condition, he developed a way to express himself through dance and skateboarding on crutches.
David Woodhouse is an American architect who was born in Peoria, Illinois and founder of David Woodhouse Architects.
Tony Tasset is an American multimedia artist. His works consists mainly of video, bronze, wax, sculpture, photography, film, and taxidermy. He has exhibitions that can be seen in Dallas, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Germany, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Ecuador, and London.
Theaster Gates is an American social practice installation artist and a professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he still lives and works. Gates' work has been shown at major museums and galleries internationally and deals with issues of urban planning, religious space, and craft. He is committed to the revitalization of poor neighborhoods through combining urban planning and art practices.
Culture Coast Chicago is a collection of artistically vibrant neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Known for its high concentration of museums, music and theater ensembles, performance venues, cultural nonprofits, and arts education opportunities, the region spans from just south of McCormick Place to the South Shore Cultural Center and is bordered by Lake Michigan to the east and the Dan Ryan Expressway to the west.
John David Mooney is a Chicago-based, internationally recognized artist, known for his large-scale public sculptures, light pieces, and environmental installations. Astronomy, science, and nature have played a significant role in Mooney's art, and his public sculptures often draw inspiration from the spirit of place, the importance of the site, its history, and present environment.
Rainey Bennett, attended the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. A renowned artist, illustrator and muralist, Bennett's works have been displayed in major museum art collections.
Annette Barbier was a Chicago-based artist, who worked with video art, net art, installation art, interactive performance, and emerging and experimental technologies since the 1970s. Themes in her work address "issues of home, defined locally as domesticity and more broadly as the ways in which we relate to our environment." An early work, "Home Invasion ," incorporating critical dialogue and audio, is accessible from Leonardo. "Domestic space—formerly inviolable—is increasingly disrupted by electronic communication of all sorts, including radio, TV, email and the telephone."
Bonnie Harris (1870-1962) was an American artist.
Chicago Collections is a membership organization of more than 25 libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage organizations collaborating to preserve and promote the history of the Chicago region.
Deborah Dancy, also known as Deborah Muirhead, is an African-American painter of large-scale abstractions in oil; she is also a printmaker and mixed media artist. Her work is also known to encompass digital photography. In 1981, she began her teaching career at the University of Connecticut Storrs campus, where she taught painting for thirty-five years until her retirement in 2017. She has received awards such as a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Women’s Studio Workshop Studio Residency Grant, and a YADDO fellowship.