Holidays 2013: Open Something Greater

Passion, inspiration, creativity, wonder—these are just a few of the experiences you’ll discover in your Art Institute stocking this holiday season.

Along with our most beloved seasonal programming, we’ll also be unveiling some of the works new to the museum this year, including the spectacular Neapolitan crèche, a stunning drawing by Van Gogh, and newly decorated Thorne Miniature Rooms. Join us to unwrap these and all the gifts the museum has for you this season.

Neapolitan Crèche

November 29–January 8
Gallery 209

Featuring over 200 figures, this rare and remarkably preserved 18th-century Neapolitan Nativity scene—one of the very few and finest examples outside of Naples—makes its Art Institute debut as one of our gifts to the city this holiday season.

Holiday Thorne Rooms

November 22–January 8
Gallery 11

The beloved decorating tradition is back—and more festive than ever—with 11 rooms dressed in holiday finery! This year, the 1930s French Library joins the celebration with a tiny taste of Art Deco holiday glamour. Plus, a new long-term loan, a miniature replica of the breakfast room of Frank Lloyd Wright’s William Martin House in Oak Park, will be unveiled for the first time.

Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine

November 12–January 27
Regenstein Hall

What better time of year to feast your eyes on the rich tradition of food in American art? This exhibition brings together 100 paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the 18th through the 20th century to explore how depictions of food have allowed American artists to both celebrate and critique everything from the national diet to society and politics.

Gifts to the City

November 29–January 8
Throughout the museum

Once again this holiday season we’re presenting the best and brightest new works, including a special loan of Van Gogh’s drawing The Christmas Prayer, as our gifts to the residents of and visitors to Chicago. Pick up a mini-tour at the museum to enjoy them all on your journey through the galleries.

Great Mistletoe Ball

November 29–January 8
Grand Staircase

Steal a kiss with your sweetheart or snap a picture with your family under this monumental ball of merriment—it’s nearly four feet in diameter.

Free Gift Wrapping

November 29–December 24
Michigan Avenue Lobby

Cross some items off your holiday shopping list at the Museum Shop, and we'll make sure your presents look positively perfect.

A Taste of History and America

November 12–January 27
Terzo Piano, Museum Café, Caffè Moderno

The museum’s restaurants are taking their cue from the eagerly anticipated Art and Appetite with special menu options. Stop by and experience American history through all your senses.

The Art of Appetite

Thursdays in December, 5:00–7:30
Museum Café

Enjoy 12 delicious courses inspired by recipes included in the Art and Appetite exhibition catalogue. Courses include savories, sweets, and cocktails. Member discount applies.

SAIC Holiday Art Sale Preview Party
November 21 at 6:00

Wreathing of the Lions
November 29 at 10:00

Lecture: The Christmas Story in Art
November 29 at 1:00
December 5 at 12:00

32nd Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party
December 8 at 10:45, 12:00, or 1:30

Holiday Choral Series
December 9–13 at 12:00

Stroller Tour: Celebrations
December 9, 11:30–12:00—Register today.

Luminary Walk and Family Festivities
December 12, 5:00–7:00

Lecture: Neapolitan Crèche
December 12 at 6:00

Build Your Own Gingerbread House
December 14–15, 11:00–1:30 or 2:00–4:30

Caroling Tea
December 14–15, 2:00–4:00

Express Talks: Masterpiece of the Day
December 16–31 at 12:00

Performance: Splendor, Spectacle, and Song
December 21 at 1:00

Bank of America Family Festival: Holly Days
December 27–30
Drop in 10:30–3:00

Double Discount Week
November 4–10

Member Preview: Neapolitan Crèche
November 26, 10:30–5:00

Member Lecture: Neapolitan Crèche
December 4 at 2:00—Register today.

Double Discount Day
December 7

Member Workshop: Holiday Thorne Rooms
December 12, 6:00–8:00—Register today.
December 14, 2:00–4:00—Register today.

These events were part of our programming for the 2015 holidays and have passed.