Artsy Chicago

Art appreciation is in full force in Chicago. Enthusiasts need to look no further than this Midwest City, home to some of the finest museums in the world as well as high-profile shows, cutting-edge galleries, and eye-catching public works that are transforming plazas and parks. Whether you prefer classical works by the masters or more contemporary projects, there is plenty to stretch the imagination, and worth seeing on your next visit.

On view at the Art Institute of Chicago through September 8, 2019, the blockbuster show Manet and Modern Beauty features the work of Édouard Manet in his later years. The exquisite exhibition delves into his diverse subjects with paintings of still lifes, pastels, and salon portraits of fashionable women, highlighting females across a range of social spectrums. Highlights include the multi-painting works In the Conservatory and Boating along with more than 90 works of art, personal letters, and historical costume accessories.

In the neighborhood of West Town, visitors to INTUIT: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art will discover a whole new world of original works by self-taught artists. Unlike mainstream art, everything on view reflects artists’ personal visions, and typically falls under the categories of visionary art, art brut, self-taught art and non-traditional folk art. Along with changing exhibitions such as Justin Duerr: Surrender to Survival featuring intricate drawings by the Philadelphia-based artist, the center also has the Henry Darger Room Collection, a replica of the small one-room apartment of Chicago-based artist Darger featuring painted and collaged drawings and a collection of hundreds of objects.

The heart of the city’s Mexican community in Pilsen is where you will find the National Museum of Mexican Art, which houses a significant collection of 10,000 pieces spanning 3,000 years. Along with exhibitions such as Nuestra Historia, highlighting the Mexican identity in North America with folk art, colonial artifacts, and contemporary works, the museum also hosts different events including Thursday Nights After Dark and art workshops. Admission is free.

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