Since Deana of Chicago-based Deana Rose Jewelry really knows her stuff, we asked her to tell us what she would recommend to a visitor who loves art but only has two hours or an afternoon free in Chicago. Deana has created designs that are carried in museums and boutiques across the country and that have had “cameo roles” on network television dramas like The Good Wife which was based in the Windy City.
For Travelers Who Like: Travelers who love art can probably make time to see at least one exhibit at the massive Art Institute of Chicago.
Where to Go: The Art Institute of Chicago is located in downtown Chicago. The El train system’s Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, and Purple lines all stop above ground at the Adams/Wabash stop which is one block west of the museum. Or you can hop in a taxi, Uber or Lyft and take the ride to 111 South Michigan Avenue entrance or the entrance to the Modern Wing at 159 East Monroe Street. The museum is open daily from 10:30 to 5pm and until 8pm on Thursday nights.
What Makes It Special: Built in 1893 and expanded to almost one million square feet in 2009, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the U.S. Its permanent collection of over 300,000 works of art includes iconic works such as Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait, and Rembrandt’s Old Man with a Gold Chain.
A current exhibit that is definitely worth the taxi ride is “Memoir of a City” which is a selection of rare historic photographs of Chicago (now through June 15, 2018). Two other ongoing exhibits represent two ends of the art spectrum: “Of Gods and Glamour” which is an exhibit of over 550 works from over 4,000 years of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine art and “The New Contemporary” which features iconic contemporary masterpieces by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns. “The New Contemporary” only includes 44 pieces, making it easy to fit into a few hours between work commitments.
Do Not Miss: Deana advises visitors not to miss the Art Institute’s Pritzker Galleries collection of French Impressionist art, one of the finest in the country. It includes well-known pieces from Impressionism’s best known names like Cezanne, Degas, and Van Gogh.
Traveling to Chicago for business? We asked Hilary of H. Bune Designs to tell us what she'd recommend to a visitor who only has two hours or an afternoon to spend seeing Chicago. If you love architecture or history, she suggests taking the Chicago Architecture Foundation Riverboat Tour. Hilary, who loves the tour enough to have taken it three times, says it's perfect if your free time is limited because the tour only lasts about 90 minutes