Chicago for Art Lovers

Apr 17, 2013

If, after an intense day of highly scientific presentations, you are interested in exercising a different part of your brain in contemplation of Monet’s Water Lilies or an avant-garde sculpture such as the Millennium Park Cloud Gate (fondly called “the bean”), Chicago boasts an impressive array of art museums, galleries, tours, and exhibitions. There is something for every taste, from beautiful works of past centuries to exciting contemporary collections by emerging artists.

“Chicago is an art and architectural feast, where one can view numerous masterpieces of America’s artistic legacy. The Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Millennium Park, Gehry’s bandshell—and so many other sites—celebrate Chicago’s stature as a world-class cultural reservoir,” said Jonathan S. Berek, MD, ASCO Connection Editor-in-Chief.

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Ave. Hours: Friday-Wednesday, 10:30 AM-5:00 PM; Thursday, 10:30 AM-8:00 PM;
Best known for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, the Art Institute (the second-largest museum of fine art in the country) has an encyclopedic collection of visual art spanning eras, cultures, and media. Visitors will find Japanese prints, Ancient Greek sculptures, Old Master paintings, contemporary graphic arts, and a special collection of work by African-American artists.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Ave. Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM; Tuesday, 10:00 AM-8:00 PM; closedMonday;
The Museum of Contemporary Art features one of the largest collections of post-1945 visual art in the United States—more than 2,500 pieces reside in its permanent collection. Exhibitions have a strong focus on surrealism, minimalism, conceptual photography, and work by Chicago-based artists.

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise
Cruises depart from 112 East Wacker Dr. Hours: Monday-Wednesday, from 10:00 AM-3:30 PM; Thursday, from 10:00 AM-5:30 PM; Friday, from 10:00 AM-7:30 PM; Saturday-Sunday, from 10:00 AM-5:30 PM;
Enjoy a docent-narrated tour of more than 50 historic buildingsalong the Chicago River. In addition to the popular boat tours, the Chicago Architecture Foundation offers more than 85 walking, bus, bike, and Segway tours (

Millennium Park
Bounded by Randolph St., Columbus Dr., Monroe St., and Michigan Ave. Hours: Daily, 6:00 AM-11:00 PM;
Millennium Park, renowned for its accessibility and environmentally conscious design, is home to a variety of public art and landscape design. Catch your reflection in the Cloud Gate or enjoy a concert in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a bandshell designed by Frank Gehry. The Crown Fountain features an installation of projected faces representing the social spectrum of Chicago citizens.

Art galleries
Serious collectors and curious browsers alike will find galleries featuring the work of emerging and established contemporary artists throughout the city, with the largest concentration in the River North area (Superior and Franklin Streets).

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