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Member FAQs

Curious about the ins and outs of your membership? Check out our frequently asked questions listed below. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, contact Member Services at (312) 499-4111 or

How do I find my member ID number?

Your member ID is located on the back of your member card directly under your name. Alternatively you may call Member Services at (312) 499-4111 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays to retrieve your ID number.

Is there a member code of conduct?

Yes. While visiting, we ask that members be courteous and respectful to all museum visitors, volunteers, and museum staff. If a member’s behavior is deemed inappropriate by staff, the member may be asked to leave. If there are multiple recorded instances of disruptive behavior, the member may be asked to not attend further events, or the membership may be revoked.

How do I renew my membership?

There are three ways you can renew your Art Institute membership. You may renew online, over the phone with a Member Services representative at (312) 499-4111, or by visiting one of the on-site Member Services desks located at both museum entrances.

Will I lose time on my membership if I renew early?

No, you will not lose any time on your membership by renewing early; your membership will be extended one or two years beyond your current expiration date. In fact, we encourage early renewal so your benefits do not lapse during your renewal cycle.

How do I purchase a membership as a gift for a family member or friend?

You may purchase a gift membership online. Any level of membership can be purchased as a gift by clicking “BUY AS GIFT.” You will then be prompted to specify where you would like the membership materials mailed—to yourself or the gift recipient. To purchase over the phone, please call our Member Services line at (312) 499-4111. For immediate fulfillment, complete with a gift box and member tote bag, stop by the museum and speak with an on-site membership representative at either entrance.

Can I purchase membership for my child?

We love to hear when children are enthusiastic about being a part of the museum. However, we cannot store information about minors, including name and contact information. For this reason, membership at the Member level and above allow household members under 18 years of age free access to the museum when accompanied by the cardholder.

How do I qualify for a Student membership?

The Student membership is reserved for full-time, degree-seeking students, 18 years or older. School enrollment must be verified when signing up either in person or over the phone.

Who are your reciprocal partners?

Members at the Premium Member level and above enjoy reciprocal privileges at the following museums:

Cincinnati Art Museum
Cleveland Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art
High Museum of Art (Atlanta)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri)
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Saint Louis Art Museum
The Toledo Museum of Art
Vancouver Art Gallery
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis)
Whitney Museum of American Art

Do members need to wait in admission lines?

Members do not need to go through the ticket admission lines at the entrances to the museum. The far right side of both the Michigan Avenue and Modern Wing lobbies are reserved for member use. To facilitate an expedited entrance, please have your member card and photo ID ready.

How many guests does my membership allow me to get into the museum?

The number of guests is unique to the member level. Every level includes at least one adult guest except E-Member, with higher levels allowing for as many as 8 guests.

Can I give my card to someone else so they can visit without me?

Members at the Sustaining Fellows levels may give their “Family of” cards to guests to visit without the member being present. Please call the Sustaining Fellows office for details on this process or to upgrade your membership at (312) 443-3735. Children under 18 in the household of a member may use a parent’s member card with prior notification. The normal number of guests determined by the level applies. To make these arrangements, please call Member Services at (312) 499-4111 and inform us of the date and name of the child you are planning to have visit. All other guests must be accompanied by a named cardholder to take advantage of member benefits. 

Why do you check member IDs upon admission to the museum?

In an effort to preserve the value of membership’s exclusive access to the museum, we check photo IDs to make sure memberships are being used by the named cardholder. To avoid having to show an ID, please stop by a Member Services desk to have your picture added to your record. It only takes a few seconds and will allow you to use your member card without an accompanying ID in the future. Unless you are a Sustaining Fellows–level member, membership cards cannot be loaned to guests to use without the accompaniment of the member even after a photo has been added to your record.

Why should I add a photo to my membership record?

Adding a photo to your membership record will allow you to enter the museum without having to show a photo ID along with your member card or Digital Member Card App. Stop by any Member Services desk at either entrance to have a photo added on your next visit. It only takes a few seconds and does not require your card to be reprinted.

I’ve lost my member card. How do I get a new one?

There are two ways to get a new member card; you can stop by a membership desk at either entrance and have a new card printed on site, or you can call Member Services at (312) 499-4111 to have one mailed to your home. If you have a smartphone, you can also download our Digital Member Card app, which functions exactly like your physical member card and even updates your expiration date when you renew.

How long will it take for my member card(s) to arrive?

It takes approximately 2–3 weeks for your member card(s) to arrive by mail to your home. If purchased online, you may visit immediately with a print out of your confirmation e-mail. Simply bring it with you to the museum and present it to a membership representative at either entrance. This will provide you with temporary pass to the museum while you are waiting for your card(s) to arrive.

I renewed my membership; why am I still receiving notices?

Thank you for your renewal. Due to processing time, some materials may cross paths in the mail. This should subside once you receive your card(s). If it does not, please call Member Services at (312) 499-4111.

What level of membership am I?

Your member level can be found on the back of your member card, where your name and member ID are listed. For more details on member levels and benefits, please proceed to this page.

Is my membership tax-deductible?

Yes. To the extent the law allows, E-member, Member, Member Plus, Premium, Lion’s Council, Lion’s Circle, Lion’s Roundtable, and Sustaining Fellows are fully tax-deductible. Affiliate group and Society Memberships are partially tax-deductible.

Do membership prices change regularly?

In order to offset the cost of providing high-quality benefits to members, along with the desire to increase and diversify member programming, periodic rate increases are required. In the event of a price increase, all then-current membership levels and expiration dates will be honored.

Can I receive a refund for my membership?

No. A membership with the Art Institute functions as a tax-deductible donation to the institution and is not eligible for a refund.

Do I need tickets for special exhibitions?

No. As a member you can show your member card or Member Card App for access to any exhibition for you and your guests.

If I live outside of the United States, will I receive mailings from the Art Institute?

You will receive e-communications on a regular basis promoting upcoming member events, exhibition openings, and special offers. You will receive a fulfillment letter in the mail containing your member cards and tax letter, but we do not mail other membership material, like the Member Magazine, internationally.

How do I sign up for e-communications?

Sign up here and receive our e-newsletter, as well as other communications about upcoming member events and lectures.

How do I unsubscribe from e-communications?

We’re sorry to see you go, but if you no longer wish to receive e-communications, you may unsubscribe by clicking the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of our e-mails.

How many members does the museum have?

The total number fluctuates from year to year, but we are fortunate to have the support of around 100,000 members.

Do member events ever sell out?

Seating and availability at member events and programs is limited to the capacity of the venue and may require reservations. Access is always provided on a first-come, first-served basis to things like Member Previews or Member Weekend Mornings. Reservations for member programs can be made with a Member Services representative on site at either entrance, by calling (312) 499-4111, or visiting the calendar. Reservations do not guarantee access to the event.