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Lectures and Programs

There are many ways to explore the depth and breadth of the Art Institute’s permanent collection and special exhibitions.

Artist Talks and Lectures 

Artists Connect
Initiated as Metropolis in 1999, Artists Connect offered local artists a forum in which to discuss their work with the public, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the collections of the Art Institute to their own practice. The series fostered an understanding of the intimate relationship between living artists and those of the past and illuminates the sometimes surprising ways in which an artist's inspiration evolves into important original work.  The series concluded in 2013 and podcasts of past lectures can be found here.

Artist Talks
Hear renowned contemporary artists speak about their individual practice and other subjects in talks that explore the genesis of their work and the work’s relationship to the ideas that generated it.

Scholars explore a specific research topic in lectures relating to the Art Institute’s collections or exhibitions. These talks give greater insight to our audiences wishing to delve deeper into the history, context, conservation, or iconography of a given subject.

Concerts and Performances

Experience programs featuring music and art commentary highlighting works from the museum collection. Programs include concerts in the acoustical splendor of Fullerton Hall with organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

These unique programs feature art-inspired performances in both Fullerton Hall and in the galleries. Join us for a selection of readings, theatrical presentations, and dance performances. Collaborations include programs with Chinese Fine Arts Society and the Poetry Foundation.

Seminars and Symposia

Seminars offer the opportunity for close study of a chosen theme, area of the collection, or special exhibition through gallery discussions, lecture and panel sessions, or visits to the museum's study collections.

Often held in conjunction with exhibitions or sponsored in collaboration with local universities or curatorial support groups, one- or two-day symposia take place at the museum throughout the year. Distinguished scholars from museums and universities speak about special exhibitions, re-installations of the collection, or specific works.