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Come for the sterling collection of old masters and impressionists (an entire room is dedicated to Monet); linger over the extraordinary and comprehensive photography collection; take in a number of fine American works; and discover paintings, drawings, sculpture, and design spanning the ancient to the contemporary world.
With its flanking lions and marble lobby, the Michigan Avenue main building was once part of the World's Columbian Exposition. It opened as the Art Institute on December 8, 1893. While the collection is best known for itsimpressionist and postimpressionist pieces, visitors will find works from a vast range of periods and places, including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, European, Asian, African, and Indian art of the Americas. Such iconic works as Grant Wood's American Gothic and Edward Hopper's Nighthawks can be found in the American galleries. Chicago favorites like the Thorne Miniature Room and Chagall's stained-glass American Windows are must-sees
After the Renzo Piano–designed Modern Wing opened in 2009, the Art Institute became one of the largest art museums in the country. The 264,000-square-foot buildingcontains the finest 20th- and 21st-century art in many mediums.
A fine-dining restaurant, Terzo Piano, features nouveau Italian cuisine. Check out the outdoor third-floor Nichols Bridgeway connecting the Art Institute to Millennium Park. It offers stunning views of the skyline and Lake Michigan.