Chicago Museums

Popular Museums in Chicago

Located in Illinois, the museums in Chicago are a must visit when exploring the city of Chicago. The museums over here are of exemplary architecture, and are home to some of the rarest collections from around the world. The museums also cover a wide range of subject matters, including science and technology, natural history, history of Chicago, art, paintings, textiles, and many more. If you are an art enthusiast, one of the best Chicago museum to visit is the Art Institute of Chicago, for it is also one of the top visited tourist attractions. Other art museums include the Museum of Contemporary art, and the Smart museum of art.

If you are into science and technology, then some of the best museums in Chicago to explore are the Field museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium, and the Oriental Institute museum. Some other noteworthy and unique museums include the Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Contemporary Photography, DuSable museum of African American history, and the National museum of Mexican art.Exploring museums in Chicago is one of the best things to do, and is a fun activity for friends and families to indulge in.

The Field Museum

Founded in the year 1893, the Field Museum is one the best Chicago museum to visit. Initially home to the biological and anthropological collections, the museum now houses over 20 exhibitions, across an area of 480000 square feet. You can indulge in experiences such as viewing the towering Dinos, knowing about the historical artefacts from ancient Egypt, and relaxing in the Chinese rock garden. If visiting with your kids, you can go for the “Evolving Planet” exhibit, displaying dinosaur remains and extensive natural history.

Shedd Aquarium

Home to an extensive marine life, the Shedd Aquarium is a must visit Chicago museum, housing species such as piranhas, frogs, and snakes of the Amazon. You can also find here, the rays and turtles from the Caribbean. Other marine animals to look out for when visiting this museum are the sharks, jellies, penguins, sea lions, and the beluga whale. The aquarium displays over seven exhibits, offering varied and interesting experiences.

Art Institute of Chicago

One of the most popular structures in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago is a significant cultural building. This Chicago museum houses over 300,000 artworks and artefacts in the collection, and you will also find several beautiful sculptures along with art. Some of the notable attractions here are the,” A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, and the contemporary collection in the Modern Wing. You can also explore the Thorne Miniatures rooms, located in the museum’s basement.

Chicago History Museum

Initially known as the Chicago historical society, if you are a history enthusiast then the Chicago History Museum is a must visit for you. This is among those museums in Chicago which display the past of the city in the most extensive way. You can find exhibitions related to Abraham Linclon and other historical figures, and regarding the traditional lifestyle of people in Chicago. You can also indulge in the “Chicago: Crossroads of America” experience by boarding the vintage L car. Since this Chicago museum is located along the lake, it is a great place to take a stroll.

Museum of Contemporary Art

One of the largest institutions across the world devoted to art, the Museum of Contemporary Art was built post the 1950. Known for hosting several popular art exhibitions, this is one of the most exciting museums in Chicago to visit. Famous personalities such as Virgil Abloh, David Bowie, and Takashi Murakami have participated in the exhibitions as well. You can find artworks created by various local and international artists, and the museum also has a gift shop from where you can bring back souvenirs for your loved ones.

Museum of Science and Industry

Appealing to both younger and older crowds alike, the Museum of Science and Industry is a must visit Chicago museum if you are a technology enthusiast. You can find exhibits such as the U-505 German Submarine, a Coal mine, and a rebuilt version of the Chicago street circa 1910. Experiences are both fun, and informative here. This museum was originally built to cater to the World’s Columbian Exposition, which took place in 1893.

The Oriental Institute Museum

With ongoing research for about 100 years by the Oriental institute at the University of Chicago on the subject matter, the collective human history, this museum is home to artefacts as old as 6000 years. You can view objects such as saddles, ceramic items, and Megiddo Ivories from ancient Assyria, Anatolia, Israel, Egypt, Persia, and Mesopotamia. One of the most notable attractions here is the 40-ton winged bull structure, human-headed in appearance, procured from Khorsabad.

Smart Museum of Art

Located in Hyde park, in the campus of University of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art, was a place dedicated to researchers and scholars to learn about art, and create exhibitions. Now, this Chicago museum houses the collection of fine art from the university, and also comprises scrolls from China. You can also spot famous works by Kerry James Marshall and Andy Warhol. Do not forget to go by experiences dedicated to installations and local art museums.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is among the first planetariums in the Western World, and is one of the must visit museums in Chicago. You can indulge in the permanent exhibits present here, related to science and technology. Immerse in the sky theatre experience here, and do attend the dazzling sky shows at Grainger Sky Theatre. Also, you can indulge in the Doane Observatory experience, once you have learnt about the skies.

DuSable Museum of African American History

Founded in 1961, the DuSable Museum of African American history is the oldest Chicago museum related to the African American community. You can view exhibits, artefacts and documents related to the famous activist, Ida B. Wells, and poet Langston Hughes. You can go through the rich collection of African American art present here. If you are a Grammy awards fan, you can also view Chance the Rapper’s Grammy award here. This Chicago museum also hosts several literary events, and is the one the most interesting museums to visit.

National Museum of Mexican Art

Located in Harrison Park, the National Museum of Mexican Art is one of the biggest Latinx cultural organisations in the US. This Chicago museum highlights more than 10,000 exhibits of art from artists from either side of the borders. One of the most notable attractions here is the Nuestra Historias, which includes paintings from the 18th century and objects such as a tricked-out lawn mower. There are several shows which are hosted here, and works of Frida Kahlo’s personal collection are also displayed.

FAQ's of Chicago Museum

What is the most visited museum in Chicago?

With 1666000 visitors in 2019, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most visited museums in Chicago. On the second number, lies the Field museum, with a total of 1494000 visitors in 2019.

Which museum is better in Chicago?

One of the grandest Chicago museum is the Art Institute of Chicago, for it is also a significant cultural centre of the city. It houses some of the most rare collections from the impressionist era, and also boasts two bronze lion structures, which also are a symbolic representation of Chicago’s excellent architecture.

Is the Chicago museum free?

The museums in Chicago are always free of cost for Chicago teens, below 18 years of age, and for all the children below the age of 14, for Link and WIC card holders, for active-duty personnel in the military, and for the Illinois educators.

Which is better: Shedd Aquarium or Field Museum?

It is highly recommended to visit both the Shedd Aquarium and the Field museum, since they are one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. However, the Shedd Aquarium scores a little high when reviewed by Frommer’s, Concierge, and the Lonely Planet, and has a lot more endorsements than the Field museum.

Which is the most historical museum in Chicago?

Some of the oldest museums in Chicago include the Chicago History museum, Museum of Broadcast Communications, DuSable Museum of African American History, Pritzker Military museum and library, and the art Institute of Chicago.


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