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Family Exhibitions

From Interactive Gallery exhibitions in the Ryan Education Center to family-friendly collections throughout the galleries, the Art Institute offers children and their parents various paths for artistic discovery.

Thorne Miniature Rooms

Gallery 11
The Thorne Miniature Rooms (68 model rooms created on a one-inch-to-one-foot scale) are one of the most beloved collections at the Art Institute. These fascinating models of interiors and furnishings from the late 13th century to the 1930s were conceived by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago and constructed between 1932 and 1940 by master craftsmen according to her specifications. Peek inside these Lilliputian interiors and discover a host of tiny treasures—from solid gold toy trains to miniature versions of modern masterpieces.

The Elizabeth Morse Touch Gallery

Ryan Learning Center
Go ahead! Touch them—you're allowed, even encouraged. Discover how the sense of touch can enrich your appreciation of art with four specially treated artworks specifically designed for visually impaired visitors to the museum but available to all.

Paperweight Collection

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Bursting with gorgeous color and mesmerizing pattern and design, the Arthur Rubloff Paperweight Collection is like a panoramic kaleidoscope. Explore this treasure trove of colored glass and see if you can find the paperweights that feature a swarm of bees, a trio of silkworms, coiled snakes, a slithering snail, and even a poised lizard.

As part of the Ryan Learning Center, the Interactive Gallery is designed to be just one of the stops on a family’s journey through the museum. In this participatory space, visitors of all ages are encouraged to engage in hands-on activities that promote creative expression, active family learning, and familiarity with artists’ materials, ideas, and practices.

Currently on View

Living Room

Come in and find a comfortable spot for conversation, discovery, or contemplation in the Living Room, the new pop-up participatory installation in the Ryan Learning Center.


Coloring Room

Opens April 28