Art Institute of Chicago

Founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, the Art Institute of Chicago has long been recognized as one of the leading fine-arts institutions in the country. The collection encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression and houses more than 300,000 works of art. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret these pieces for the enjoyment of the 1.5 million people that visit the museum annually. The Art Institute presents 30 special exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks, lectures, performances, and events every year.