Art lovers headed to Chicago this spring are in luck – the famed Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago will reopen on April 18, 2014 after a seven-month-long renovation process that saw many of the museum’s most popular pieces loaned out across the country. The Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing has been a Chicago landmark since it was first erected in 2009; an example of exquisite contemporary architecture, it’s been updated to accommodate redesigns in gallery lighting. Now visitors to the Art Institute can reacquaint themselves with the missing pieces.
More than 100 paintings, sketches, and sculptures were loaned out to the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth, Texas, including Matisse’s “Bathers by the River,” an early example of his interest in Cubism that has been a centerpiece of the Modern Wing Galleries. The renovation process actually put over 300 works of art into storage, all of which will soon be re-introduced to the public in newly conceptualized arrangements. And those of you are familiar with some of the galleries in the Modern Wing will also notice more than a few lighting changes; the renovation was an opportunity for museum curators to clean and restore old works, reframe others, and rearrange works in different galleries to better convey their position in the story of twentieth and twenty-first century art.
Some of my personal favorite pieces will be back on display, including Georgia O’Keeffe’s provocative Black Cross, New Mexico, René Magritte’s Time Transfixed, and the famous American Gothic by Grant Wood. The Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern collection also includes iconic work by Seurat, Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, plus several more pieces by O’Keeffe.
This April is the perfect time to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. First time visitors will get the full picture of the breadth and quality of their collections, and fans will fall in love with the Modern Art Wing and the Art Institute all over again. So if you’re planning an upcoming trip to the Windy City, make this iconic institution a top priority. After all, it has been recently rated #1 Museum in the country in the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards!
(Insider Tip: Go Chicago Card holders even get a discount on meals at the Art Institute’s Garden Café.)