As a major cultural institution in Chicago, the Art Institute is committed to supporting the city and its citizens through extensive outreach and educational programs, free access for Illinois residents, and accessible public spaces on the museum’s campus. The Art Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Chicago Park District in these efforts.
Outreach and Education Programs
The Art Institute has an extremely active Department of Museum Education that works closely with public and private schools, community and business organizations, and senior groups.
The Art Institute hosts approximately 2,000 school groups from Chicago and Illinois annually, serving approximately 82,000 students a year. Of these students, nearly one quarter are from Chicago Public Schools.
The Art Institute maintains partnerships with local cultural organizations and Chicagoland colleges and universities. See our Community Programs video to learn more!
The museum offers free admission 52 days a year to Illinois residents. Please check our current schedule of free hours.
Admission is always free for children under 14.
Admission is always free to active members of the military.
Admission is always free to all employees of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Fire Department.
Admission is always free for Chicagoland and Illinois school groups. Visiting students also receive a free family pass.
The Illinois teachers eligible for free admission include pre-K–12; teaching artists working in schools; pre-service teachers; and homeschool parents. These teachers need to register at the Educator Resource Center to get an Educator Annual Pass, which can be presented at our admissions counter for a free ticket.
Admission is free to visitors holding the Kids Museum Passport, available at the Chicago Public Library with a valid library card.
Accessible Public Spaces
The north and south gardens along Michigan Avenue are free and accessible to the public during non-winter months. The award-winning gardens include seating, sculpture, and, in the south garden, Lorado Taft's Fountain of the Great Lakes.
The Ryan Learning Center and its programs are free to the public. The Ryan Learning Center includes galleries, studio spaces, and a library for families, children, and students.
The Nichols Bridgeway, a 600-foot pedestrian bridge from Millennium Park to the third level of the Modern Wing, is free and accessible to the public.
The Bluhm Sculpture Terrace on the third floor of the Modern Wing—with rotating exhibitions of contemporary sculpture, stunning views of Millennium Park and the skyline, and a fine-dining restaurant—is free and publicly accessible.
The Art Institute of Chicago gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the citizens of Chicago.
4 hours 14 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW OPEN—Go
Speed is both a product of modern life and an agent of it. At the turn of the 20th century, new technologies of mobility and transmission—trains, cars, airplanes, radio, film, television, to name only a few—increased the pace of life, collapsing distances between people and places and assaulting the senses.
Go, the second exhibition in the Art Institute’s Modern Series, explores how artists responded to different ways of experiencing and seeing the world in the accelerated modern age—through paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, designed objects, textiles, books, and films.
8 hours 31 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Happy birthday to Winslow Homer. In 1883 the artist moved to a small coastal village in Maine, where he created a series of paintings of the sea unparalleled in American art. The paintings he created after 1882 focused almost exclusively on humankind’s age-old contest with nature.
In The Herring Net, Homer depicted the heroic efforts of fishermen at their daily work. While one fisherman hauls in the netted and glistening herring, the other unloads the catch. Utilizing the teamwork so necessary for survival, both strive to steady the precarious boat as it rides the incoming swells. Homer’s isolation of these two figures underscores the monumentality of their task: the elemental struggle against a sea that both nurtures and deprives.
See five paintings by Winslow Homer in Gallery 171 of American Art—http://bit.ly/2l89rfx
22 hours 29 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Put your own creative spin on 30 masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago. Our coloring book is now available online at the Museum Shop.