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Art Institute Essentials Tour


Spend some time with the museum’s most iconic works of art and get insights from the experts with this special video series.

Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884

Spend some time with Seurat’s timeless pointillist masterpiece and learn more about its enduring mysteries, revolutionary technique, and underlying color theory.

Archibald John Motley Jr.’s Nightlife

Dig deeper into Motley’s electrifying portrayal of a Chicago jazz club and discover more about its dazzling color palette, compositional tricks, and the fellow Art Institute artwork that inspired it.

Coronation Stone of Motecuhzoma II

See all sides of this remarkable Aztec object marking Motecuhzoma’s coronation and understand its many symbols—from the plants and animals that indicate dates to the central x-shaped element that conveys the Aztecs’ understanding of their place in the cosmos.

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

Take a closer look at Hopper’s classic American painting and consider how some of its unsettling elements—clashing colors, lack of depth, and no diner door!—are key to its abiding appeal.

Olowe of Ise’s Veranda Post

Experience the beauty and majesty of this Yoruban post originally meant for the Nigerian king’s palace and discover how its many characters—an imposing queen, the seated king, a trickster god, and a junior wife—all work together to ensure the success of the kingdom.

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