The Art Institute of Chicago has unveiled the new ‘Monet and Chicago’ exhibit, which is on view from September 5, 2020 through January 18, 2021. This “must see” exhibition explores Chicago’s unique relationship with this Impressionist artist. It is an impressive collection showcasing the Art Institute’s exemplary holdings alongside works from renown Chicago-based collections. Having experienced the new exhibit, Pursuitist presents the top 5 reasons to see ‘Monet and Chicago’ at The Art Institute of Chicago.
With new safety procedures in place, it’s the perfect time to visit The Art Institute of Chicago during the time of Covid. The museum has unveiled new social distancing rules, mask requirements, and advance ticket purchases to limit the number of visitors. On our visit, we enjoyed the small crowds and felt completely safe. Everyone was masked up, and quite often we had the spacious galleries to ourselves.
The museum is currently open Monday and Thursday–Sunday: 10–11 a.m. for members only and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. for all visitors. They are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday for deep cleaning. Please call ahead or visit the The Art Institute of Chicago website to get up-to-date information on museum hours and to purchase advance tickets.
Be Immersed in Monet
Experience Claud Monet like never before. Featuring more than 70 pieces, ‘Monet and Chicago’ features some of the Impressionist’s most famous paintings, including sketches and drawings that reveal the craft behind the legendary artist’s works.
Monet’s work remains a vital part of the Art Institute’s identity. Today, the museum’s 33 paintings and 13 drawings constitute the largest collection of works by the artist outside of Paris. Among the more than 70 paintings in the exhibition—from the Art Institute’s holdings and Chicago-based collections—are beloved major works as well as rarely seen pieces, such as seascapes, still lifes, and landscapes. Room after room, be prepared to be delighted by the wealth of Monet.
Be Immersed In Chicago History
‘Monet and Chicago’ is the first exhibit to trace the artist’s connection to the city, a place that was an early champion of the founding father of the Impressionist movement. It’s a fascinating history lesson, even though Monet never visited the city.
After the famous Chicago 1871 fire, the city rebuilt culturally by embracing and acquiring Monet’s work. As the wall text in the exhibit states, the Chicago families “purchased works by Monet amidst wider efforts to bolster the city’s global cultural standing.”
Monet was presented in Chicago, in galleries and at the World’s Columbian Exposition, in 1888, 1890 and 1893. Finally, in 1895 the Art Institute gave Monet his first solo museum show in the United States, ’20 Works by Claude Monet.’ Monet became so popular due to the Chicago exposure that he expressed worries to his dealer about Parisians not being able to see his newest work.
“Why go to Paris since Paris has come to Chicago?” a reviewer wrote for the Chicago Daily Tribune at the time. Indeed, it’s a rich connection to Chicago’s rebirth and the rise of Monet’s popularity and influence. Both are artistically and wonderfully intertwined.
Discover Something New About Monet
The ‘Monet and Chicago’ exhibition also offers an opportunity to view Monet’s paintings in a new light. Recent advancements in research and scientific analysis provide visitors a deeper insight into how Monet created some of the most revered works of art of the 19th and early 20th centuries. With Infrared and X-ray analyses of some of the Monet paintings in the Art Institute’s collections suggest the artist actually changed his compositions frequently, painting a rough draft of a work outdoors but later touching it up in his studio.
‘Monet and Chicago’ also offers viewers the chance to examine six entries from the artist’s Stacks of Wheat series up close.
Experience Monet-inspired events around Chicago
‘Monet and Chicago’ is beyond the museum walls. Throughout the city, Monet can be experienced in person at charming gardens, accommodating hotels and creative restaurants. Below are some exceptional Monet events, curated by Choose Chicago.
During our visit to Chicago, we also paid a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden prior to arriving at the The Art Institute. Located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, the Garden is one of the world’s greatest living museums and conservation science centers.
A visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden is the ideal destination to get into a Monet mindset. Its 27 gardens and four natural areas are uniquely situated on 385 acres on and around nine islands, with six miles of lake shoreline. The Garden is an inspiring experience that Monet would’ve admired.
The Garden is also a safe destination with social distancing, timed-entry and face coverings required. Open every day of the year with hours changing seasonally. Plan your visit online with required preregistration.
Additional Monet-inspired experiences in Chicago include:
Events and exhibits
- The Flowers of Monet at Garfield Park Conservatory: Inspired by Monet’s most famous paintings, the free Garfield Park Conservatory will bring his works to life with a variety of blooms, including a living wall inspired by the Water Lilies series. The exhibit will run from Sept. 5 – Nov. 30.
- Uniquely Chicago Monet Experience Package at Best Western River North Hotel: This package is inspired by Chicago’s love for the Impressionist artist. It includes items unique to Chicago — like the city’s signature pizza — along with tickets to Monet and Chicago at the Art Institute.
- The Artist and the Master Package at Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park: Located just across from Millennium Park, the Fairmont Chicago offers a special package including a suite upgrade and $50 food and beverage credit
- Impressions of Chicago Package at Kimpton Gray: The Impressions of Chicago package includes two tickets to Monet and Chicago and two Monet-inspired cocktails from Boleo.
- The Art of Monet in Chicago at The Langham, Chicago: Enjoy an art-filled weekend getaway at The Langham, just a 15-minute walk to the Art Institute. This package includes two VIP tickets to the museum and admission to Monet and Chicago.
- Monet in Chicago Package at The Whitehall Hotel: This package of getaway essentials includes two tickets to the Art Institute of Chicago and Monet and Chicago, plus overnight parking.
Monet-inspired drinks and dishes
- Monet-themed cocktails at Travelle at The Langham: Sip on a new series of Claude Monet-inspired cocktails at the elegant Travelle at The Langham. The mixologist-crafted drinks are inspired by some of the artist’s most iconic works, including Arrival of the Normandy Train, Water Lily Pond, and Stacks of Wheat.
- Monet-inspired cocktails at Boleo: This rooftop bar at the Kimpton Gray hotel in the Loop has created cocktails featuring clashing flavors to showcase Monet’s mastery of color while still staying true to Boleo’s South & central American flavors.
- Impressions cocktail at Geja’s Cafe: Try Geja’s new specialty cocktail, Impressions, inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies.
- Monet Tea Collection at TeaGschwendner: Enjoy TeaGschwendner’s three specialty teas inspired by the paintings of Claude Monet: Earl Grey Lavender, Marani Green, and Fruit Paradise, all available at TeaGschwendner’s Gold Coast and Lakeview locations.
- Monet Truffle Collection at Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland: Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland is offering Monet-inspired truffle collections in champagne, lavender, and rose. Show your Monet exhibition ticket to receive a complimentary truffle when you visit the store.
- Monet at Giverny at The Gage: The Gage presents the specialty cocktail Monet at Giverny, featuring Glendalough Wild Rose Gin, Lillet Blanc, caraway, citrus cordial, and peach bitters.
- Grant Park Bistro: Show your Monet and Chicago exhibit ticket for 15% off your meal.
- Land & Lake Kitchen: Show your Monet and Chicago exhibit ticket for 15% off your meal.
- Russian Tea Time: Show your Monet and Chicago exhibit ticket for 15% off your meal.
Also read: Pursuitist Presents The 5 Best Luxury Hotels in Chicago.
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. USA Today has named him one of the “Top 10 Luxury Travel Bloggers” — and Madison Magazine honored him as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison.”