Southern Chicago Hospital Presents the Art Institute

Patients and visitors to a southern Chicago hospital who are lovers of art are in luck! Chicago’s famous Art Institute is a world-class museum which brings visitors from throughout the world. Founded in 1866 under the name Chicago Academy of Design, it is one of the oldest art schools in the U.S., and it is carrying on the teaching of art and design to this day. Additionally, the Art Institute’s collection presently contains over three hundred thousand works of art distributed among ten departments. The Institute’s objet d’art include paintings, sculpture, photographs, architectural drawings, prints, and textiles from all over the world and thousands of years of history.

The principle building features beaux arts architecture and was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Over the years other buildings have been constructed, and the museum presently contains over four hundred thousand square feet of space. The collection of European Painting includes 950 paintings from medieaval times to the early twentieth century, with special emphasis on French painting in the nineteenth century. The most famous exhibit at the Art Institute is the Impressionist and Post Impressionist collection, which includes A Sunday Afternoon on La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat, Acrobats at the Circus Fernando by Jean Renoir, and thirty-three of Claude Monet’s landscapes. The Modern and Contemporary Art Department contains over 1500 sculptures and paintings from America and Europe made during the twentieth century. The world-renowned African and Amerindian collection features an exhibit of African masks, wood sculpture, ceramics, textiles, beadwork, and furniture from Central, Western and Southern Africa; and also a collection of Mesoamerican and Andes Mountains ceramics, textiles, sculpture, and metal work. South American Indian figurative art and ceramics are also well represented in this collection.

Another world-famous collection which south Chicago hospital visitors might enjoy is European Decorative Arts with over twenty-five thousand objects including ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, and ivory dating from the year 1100 to modern times; as well as sculpture from the middle ages to the present. The Textile Department includes over thirteen thousand examples (including over sixty-six thousand swatch samples) from 300 BCE to contemporary designs, representing Asia, Africa, Europe, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Indonesia. There are special collections of pre-Colombian textiles, tapestries, European vestments, woven silk, printed fabric, lace and needlework.

Visitors from a south Chicago Illinois hospital should not miss the fabulous Thorne Miniature Rooms which feature 68 doll’s house rooms on a one-to-twelve scale showing a range of architecture from peasant dwellings to palaces. Another famous Art Institute collection is the distinguished Ernest Graham Study Center with over 130,000 architectural drawings and sketches. Families will especially appreciate the Children’s Museum and the many rotating presentations at Goodman Theater and the Institute’s Film Center. Children are also fascinated with the Institute’s extensive Arms and Armor collection, as well as the collections of costumes from all over the world. The Art Institute has several pleasant restaurants including the Garden Restaurant and the Court Cafe. There is also a great gift shop on the main floor.