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Gallery Talks

Free public gallery talks are offered every day the museum is open. Attendance at these gallery talks is open to all visitors and does not require advanced registration.

Highlights tours are designed to introduce the first-time visitor or infrequent visitor to the collections of the Art Institute through some of our most remarkable masterworks. These tours are led by volunteer adult tour docents.

Highlights of the Modern Wing
These highlights tours introduce the first-time or infrequent visitor to the modern and contemporary collections of the Art Institute with works located in the Renzo Piano-designed galleries of the Modern Wing. These tours are led by volunteer adult tour docents.

Thematic Tours
Museum Education lecturers select specific works from the collections for closer examination, comparing works across media, or focusing on a single work to engage museum visitors more intimately with the history, cultural context, and impact of chosen work(s).

Collection Tours
These gallery talks focus on particular departments within the museum's encyclopedic collection, such as American art, Asian art, African art or Impressionism, and are led by museum educators.

Exhibition Overviews
Exhibition overviews provide the visitor with an introduction to the exhibition and insights into an artist’s (or artists') life and work, as well as to the conceptualization and implementation of the exhibition itself. Overviews are led by Museum Education staff as well as oftentimes the exhibition curator.

Architecture of the Art Institute
Since 1893, the buildings that house the collections of the Art Institute have been remarkable in their own right. From the Neo-Classical façade on Michigan Avenue which bears the names of Old Masters to the luminous Tiffany dome in Fullerton Hall, Walter Netsch’s dramatic Columbus Wing, and the Renzo Piano–designed Modern Wing, these spaces get a closer look in tours guided by museum educators.