The Best Art Museums in Chicago
Popularly known as the "City that works," Chicago is the third-largest US city, behind New York and Los Angeles.With about three million residents in its 591 square km landscape, Chicago is home to some of the world's finest innovations in telecommunications, transportation, and culture.
In 2018, Chicago reportedly welcomed about 57.6 million visitors to its esteemed tourist attractions, a significant increase compared to the city's tourist count of 55.2 million in 2017.If you are aiming to travel to the city, here is a compilation of the best art museums you can visit in Chicago for your convenience.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications
The Museum of Broadcast Communications originally opened in 1987, but due to several subsequent plans of reconstruction and delays, it only became available to the public once more in 2012.
The museum was founded in 1982 by Bruce DuMont, a Chicago-based broadcaster who aimed to preserve the archives of previous radio and television stations for educational purposes.
The museum displays historical media artifacts such as advertisements, commercials, and promotional pictures that date back to as early as the 1950s to showcase the evolution of the media landscape.
While such artifacts can be accessed online, the museum can also be visited from Thursday to Sunday with a standard admission fee of 14 USD.
The Adler Planetarium
In 1928, Max Adler, a businessman, was inspired to build the first planetarium in the United States upon his early retirement.In 1930, after purchasing a series of scientific artifacts and instruments from Amsterdam, the Adler Planetarium finally opened to the public.
Since then, the museum typically welcomes about 500,000 visitors each year, with people from different walks of life coming together to uphold the realm of scientific innovation.The Adler Planetarium is open every day from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The standard ticket price, which includes entry to the museum and access to all exhibitions, starts at 19 USD for adults and 8 USD for children ages 3 to 11.
The Chicago Architecture Center
The Chicago Architecture Center, originally known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, opened in 1966 as a foundation to save the historical Glessner House from demolition.In 2018, the foundation changed its name to the Chicago Architecture Center, where volunteers conduct several tours every day.
Since then, the CAC has opened its doors to about 500,000 visitors each year who visit their 4,250-scale model of Chicago, attend their events, and see their exhibitions. The Chicago Architecture Center is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with an admission fee of 14 USD for adults and 10 USD for students with ID.
The International Museum of Surgical Science
The International Museum of Surgical Science was founded in 1954 by Dr. Max Thorek, a Hungarian-American surgeon.To this day, the museum is the only one dedicated to surgery in North America. Its 10,000 square feet area houses numerous rare medical artifacts, references, sculptures, drawings, and photographs.
The museum also hosts several yearly programs that revolve around performance art to educate the public on medical phenomena.The International Museum of Surgical Science is open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, with a standard admission fee of 18 USD for adults, 14 USD for senior citizens aged 65 and over, and 10 USD for children aged 4 to 13.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography
In 1976, the Columbia College of Chicago founded the Museum of Contemporary Photography.As the name suggests, the museum houses work by contemporary artists from as early as the 1930s.
Some artists included in the museum's permanent collection are Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind, and Irving Penn.Currently, the museum contains at least 16,500 works by over 1,500 artists from various walks of life.
In 2019, the museum reported about 42,000 visitors who came to witness their numerous programs, exhibitions, and collections.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (except on Thursdays, when the museum is open until 8:00 pm, and on Sundays when it opens at noon). Admission to the museum is free of charge.
The Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum opened its doors in 1856 to store various historical artifacts for educational purposes.In 1871, however, most of the museum's collections were destroyed during the Great Chicago Fire.
The museum would open almost seven decades later in 1932 in the Georgian colonial building, where it remains to this day.Currently, the museum offers numerous collections and exhibits on display as an opportunity for tourists and locals alike to learn about the city's history.
The Chicago History Museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (except on Tuesdays when it is open until 8:00 pm and on Sundays when it opens at noon).Admission fees are 19 USD for adults, 17 USD for seniors and students aged 19 to 22, and free of charge for children.
The Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum of Natural History, originally known as the Columbian Museum of Chicago, was founded in 1893 by the state of Illinois to preserve and present historical artifacts relating to the fields of science, history, and archaeology.
Upon shifting its focus to environmental science in 1905, the museum officially went by the name of Field Museum of Natural History, Some permanent exhibitions in the museum are the animal halls, evolving planet, and fully functioning laboratories where visitors can witness professional work on various artifacts.
The Field Museum of Natural History is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with a standard admission fee of 42 USD for adults.From notable historical artifacts to contemporary photography, Chicago is a powerhouse in the realm of tourist attractions in various fields of interest.
Whether you are a lover of geographical history, modern art, natural science, or all three, Chicago is a place for those looking for an adventurous day of learning and sightseeing. So, what are you waiting for?
See you in Chicago!