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Art, Art History, and Design
General resources for research and class work in art, art history, and design.
45,000 images, descriptions and exhibition histories from all areas of the Institute's collection. Search or browse. Users may also create online collections of the available images to share with others.
Database of over 12,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs of individuals in United States History. Search or browse selections. Users can creative their own collections of available images.
Located in downtown Chicago, the Art Institute is one of the world’s great art museums, housing a collection that spans centuries and the globe. Explore thousands of artworks in the museum’s wide-ranging collection—from our world-renowned icons to lesser-known gems from every corner of the globe—as well as our books, writings, reference materials, and other resources.
The Block is a dynamic, imaginative, and innovative teaching and learning resource for Northwestern and its surrounding communities, featuring a global exhibition program that crosses time periods and cultures and serves as a springboard for thought-provoking discussions relevant to our lives today. The museum also commissions new work to foster connections between artists and the public through the creative process. Each year, the Block mounts exhibitions; organizes and hosts lectures, symposia, and workshops involving artists, scholars, curators, and critics; and screens classic and contemporary films at its in-house cinema. The museum reaches national and international audiences through its traveling exhibitions, publications, and digital programs. Its growing permanent collection of approximately 6,000 works focuses primarily on prints, photography, and drawings.
The Design Museum of Chicago inspires, educates, and fosters innovation through design. They define design broadly, from architecture to street art, from choreography to urban planning. Design is more than a powerful source of inspiration. It is an integral tool that can help to connect communities and create equity. Through free, short-term exhibitions, engaging public programming, and robust partnerships with other arts, academic, and non-profit organizations, the Design Museum contextualizes and humanizes design's influence in everyday life.
Hyde Park Art Center is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect with new networks. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to cultivate and create new work and connections.
The MCA is an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social, and cultural context of the art of our time. The museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and educational programs to excite, challenge, and illuminate our visitors and offer insight into the creative process. The MCA engages diverse audiences and creates a sense of community by providing a place to contemplate and discuss contemporary art and culture and issues of our day.
The MoCP is the world’s premier college art museum dedicated to photography. As an international hub, they generate ideas and provoke dialogue among students, artists and diverse communities through groundbreaking exhibitions and programming. Their mission is to cultivate a deeper understanding of the artistic, cultural and political roles of photography in our world today.
NVAM is dedicated to presenting art inspired from military service and combat by artists who are military veterans. Its subject matter is broad and often focused on the impact of military conflict, especially that which is directly experienced by fighters, service members, and civilians. NVAM collects art from all the branches of the military, and from artists who have seen war, military conflicts, and peacekeeping missions.
The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is a site for rigorous inquiry and exchange that encourages the examination of complex issues through the lens of art objects and artistic practice. Through strong community and scholarly partnerships, the Museum incorporates diverse ideas, identities, and experiences into its exhibitions and collections, academic initiatives, and public programming. The Smart first opened in 1974.
Founded in 1940, SSCAC is the oldest African American art center in the United States and is a Chicago Historic Landmark. While taking pride in our rich past, they today build on their legacy and innovatively serve as an artist- and community-centered resource with programs, exhibitions and events that inspire. SSCAC showcases established artists and nurtures emerging creators. Through educational and artistic programs, exhibitions, talks, tours, and more, the center strives to engage, educate and connect community members to African American art and artists.
Wrightwood 659 is a new exhibition space conceived for the presentation of exhibitions of architecture and of socially engaged art. It is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who has transformed a 1920s building with his signature concrete forms and poetic treatment of natural light. In a city rich with art institutions and internationally known for its architecture, Wrightwood 659 is designed as a site for contemplative experiences of art and architecture, and as a place to engage with the pressing social issues of our time. Located at 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, it is a private, non-commercial initiative envisioned as an integral part of the cultural and civic fabric of Chicago, as well as a new kind of arts space and cultural resource.
*Note: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, some museums may have mask or vaccine requirements. Please check their websites for more information.