Back to Blog

Chicago’s Best Art Museums

Shot of the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern wing

Shot of the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern wing

Chicago’s a city that boasts some of the best museums in the world, so where do you start if you’re interested in exploring them all? We thought we’d start off with narrowing your options down to visual arts. Here are some of Chicago’s best art museums.

The Art Institute of Chicago

The second largest art museum in the country, the Art Institute is a go-to for tourists and beloved by locals. The museum houses iconic pieces by famous artists like Grant Wood, Mary Cassatt, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper and that’s just naming a few. The Art Institute also hosts a rotation of impressive exhibits, most recently one featuring Monet. 

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Housed in a building just as memorable and unique as its collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a haven for connoisseurs of contemporary art. The museum’s collection includes Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Alexander Calder, and a range of artistic styles and expressions. 

National Museum of Mexican Art

Found in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, the National Museum of Mexican Art houses an impressive collection of Mexican and American artwork. It stands out as one of the most prominent first-voice institutions for Mexican art and culture in the United States, a promise established in 1982 and still carried out today. 

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Whether you’re a professional photographer or a casual admirer, the Museum of Contemporary Photography is one of the best places in the Midwest to appreciate the art of photography. 

For more intimate art experiences, check out the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, the Renaissance Society and the Block Museum at Northwestern. Of course, from museums, to galleries, to murals, Chicago overflows with art to appreciate and enjoy at every turn. The city’s creative inspiration is one of the many reasons we love to call it home.