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Museums & Art Galleries in Chicago

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      23.07.2002 03:51
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      Chicago is a wonderful city and opposite the junction of Michigan Avenue and Adams lies the Art Institute. This is a wonderful museum made up of three buildings and housing some marvellous paintings and works of art. On our first visit to the city the Art Institute was closed for refurbishment so it was high on our agenda for our second trip. The museum is located at 111 South Michigan Avenue. If you are staying at any of the downtown hotels then it is a pleasant stroll alone the avenue. If you are a little further out and come into the city by train then take the visitor tram which runs from all of the over ground railway stations. They are distinctive red trams and come along every 20 minutes and the best thing of all is that they are free. Once you get there the admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children. There is actually no charge but you are expected to pay something and these are the suggested donations. Of course you can visit on Tuesday when the museum is free to all. The museum is open from 10:30 to 4:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays the hours are 10:00 to 5:00 and on free day Tuesday you can enjoy the art from 10:30 to 8:00. Get there early as there is a lot to see and you will need lots of time to get around. All of the public areas are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. You have to check any backpacks or large items and this costs $1. The museum is made up of three different buildings that are interlinked. The Allerton building is the original institute and is the one that you enter from Michigan Avenue. The Rubloff building lies behind it and can be entered from Columbus Drive and the Rice building is entered from the first floor via the Gallery. All of these different buildings and levels can be a little bewildering and the map that you are given on entry is not the most user friendly one that we have encountered. Undaunted we were determined
      to see as much as we could. The lower level houses the main eateries as well as textiles, paperweights, decorative arts. There is also an excellent touch gallery for the visually impaired. The highlight for us was the Thorne Miniature rooms. In here you will find a variety of tiny reproductions of rooms from around the world. The detail is exquisite. On the first level you can chose from Indian, South East Asian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, American, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and African art. Everything from suits of armour to portraits of Chairman Mao! The museum shop is also located on the first level and like all museum shops it sports everything from postcards to books on art. The second level is mainly sculpture and paintings and it is here that you will find the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections. While we are not all that knowledgeable when it comes to art but we do know what we like, as they say. I have to say that these are the paintings that we like. There are examples of all the major players on show from Van Gogh to Monet. For further information you can always visit their website at www.artic.edu Thank you for reading. © MurphEE 2002

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