I have two favorite places in the world: museums and libraries. No matter what city I travel too, and I’ve been around a bit, I always hit the best museum in town and take a stroll through its galleries. Then I visit the public library where I find an old book and a table where I can sit and soak up the feel of the place for a bit.
In Chicago one of our finest museums is the Art Institute Chicagolocated in Grant Park. This is a photograph from one of the terraces at the museum.

It features a collection of Impressionistand Post-Impressionistart in its permanent collection. Its holdings also include American art, Old Masters, European and American decorative arts, Asian art, modern and contemporary art, architecture and industrial and graphic design. In addition, it houses the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries on the main level.

                                                          Claude Monet Springtime
Tracing its history to a free art school and gallery founded in 1866, the museum is located at 111 South Michigan Avenue in the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District. It is associated with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at one million square feet and it is the second largest art museum in the United States, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On a personal note, the Art Institute was one of the first museums I ever went to as a child and I remember being awestruck by so much beauty. I also had my first date with my husband there on July 14, 1990. An interesting piece of trivia is that the bronze lions that guard the front entrance of the museum have name: Stands in an Attitude of Defiance and On the Prowl. The statues were created by Edward Camay for the World’s Columbia Exposition in 1893 and have been a symbol of Chicago for more than 110 years.

Happy summertime travels and if you come to Chicago the Art Institute is a must see!
Elizabeth Marx

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