Visiting museums to see artworks first hand is so incredibly important. Nothing compares to seeing the color, brush strokes, chisel marks that reveal the secrets to how an artist worked and how they created their vision. It’s an incredibly moving experience.

That is why I was so glad we spent a day at the Art Institute of Chicago. First, it’s the perfect size for a day visit. Not too big, not too small. It can be done in a full day without feeling rushed, overwhelmed or tired.¬†Second, the collection is amazing. It’s eclectic and interesting encompassing everything from ancient to classic, modern and post modern. It’s a perfect cross section of uniquely¬†interesting and well known works. There is a reason this museum has been voted #1 in the world on TripAdvisor’s 2014 Traveler’s Choice. It rocks!

Just a sample of the famous pieces you’ll see here:

Seurat’s La Grande Jatte breathtakingly reveals itself from the next room, through a small hall which seems to frame and highlight the work, drawing you to it. Many of Seurat’s studies for these works are shown here as well, providing wonderful insight into the artist’s process.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge works are eerily intriguing. His use of color is haunting, yet beautiful. Seeing the hues and paint application in person is revealing and inspiring.

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Monet’s Stacks of Wheat studies & Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles are both amazing works for their use of color that can only be truly appreciated in person.
And don’t miss these interesting works:

Yves Tanguy’s sparse landscapes juxtaposed with his strange characters that inhabit them are a personal favorite. And AIC has many of his most interesting and elegant works. They are huge and lovely to behold, offering a window into the mind and spirit a strange worlds. This guy was in a league and world of his own which is why I love him so much.

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And in the futurist style, Delaunay’s Champs de Mars: The Red Tower was stunningly executed for it’s breaking down of subject, composition and color contrast. A really energetic and unique piece that I absolutely loved.

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Although I’ve always like John Singer Sargent’s work for it’s elegance and realism, I have an entirely new appreciation for the use of light in his work after seeing The Fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy. I couldn’t stop staring at it. It almost brought tears to my eyes.

There is much to be said for viewing artwork in real life instead of images. AIC should definitely be on the top of the list for anyone who appreciates art.