6 Chicago Art Exhibits to Visit This Summer

Lincoln’s Undying Words at the Chicago History Museum 

Chicago is known for many things: deep dish pizza, diehard Cubs fans, and art. World-class architecture (treasured remnants from the 1893 Columbian Exposition) meets modern installations like Cloud Gate (aka "The Bean") throughout the Loop. Here, art develops less as a spectator sport and more as an invitation to be part of history. You can even spend a night in van Gogh's Bedroom in Arleslisted on Airbnb for $10 per day (reservations open again starting July 2019). Check out this list of unique exhibitions in the Windy City to visit this summer for the perfect culture trip.

01 of 06

Permanent Exhibits at the Art Institute

Permanent Exhibits at the Art Institute
artinstitutechi/instagram

Mull over the mysterious musings of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks. Experience a moment in Paris with Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street. Or feel the music in Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist at The Art Institute of Chicago's permanent collections.

111 S. Michigan Ave; artic.edu

02 of 06

America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s

America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s 
artinstitutechi/instagram

Displayed in the Abbott Galleries of The Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing through September, this summer exhibition features modernist work from the ripe era of realism, populism, abstraction, and more post 1920s extravagance. And, if you're bummed that van Gogh's real life Bedroom Airbnb is booked until 2019, you're in luck: This exhibit will bring together all three of the artist's Arles, France, bedroom paintings for the first time.

111 S. Michigan Ave; artic.edu

03 of 06

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem 
artinstitutechi/instagram

Well-known photographer/filmmaker Gordon Parks and author Ralph Ellison joined concepts in the late 1940s, early 1950s to create a vision through art of postwar African American experience. Their work, focused on Harlem, offers a stark depiction of racial injustice via photography and text. Surviving pieces of their exhibition will be on display through August 28 including never-seen photography and unpublished manuscripts by Ellison (courtesy collections of The Art Institute and the Gordon Parks Foundation).

111 S. Michigan Ave; artic.edu

04 of 06

The Making of a Fugitive

The Making of a Fugitive 
Courtesy MCA

Inspired by Life magazine's September 1970 cover of activist/scholar Angela Davis after she was placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List, this exhibit, open through December 4, investigates what it means to be a fugitive. It also explores the all-familiar intersection of media and perceptions of normalcy, innocence, and lawlessness.

220 East Chicago Avenue; mcachicago.org

05 of 06

Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry

Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry
J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Through February 2017, experience masterpieces of LEGO creation from Chicagoan and professional builder Adam Reed Tucker at the Museum of Science and Industry. This exhibit features more than a dozen huge replicas of incredible architectural achievements like the Roman Coliseum, The Golden Gate Bridge, and even Cinderella's Castle built out of LEGOs.

5700 S Lake Shore Drive; msichicago.org

06 of 06

Lincoln's Undying Words at the Chicago History Museum

Lincoln’s Undying Words at the Chicago History Museum 

Illinois is the "Land of Lincoln" by slogan, but this Lincoln's Undying Words exhibit gives insight into the man who gave some of the most memorable speeches in history. Five of those speeches from 1858 to 1865 will be presented. The Lincoln family carriage and the bed in which the late president died will also be on display alongside other artifacts through February 2017.

1601 N. Clark St.; chicagohistory.org

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