Virtually explore the Art Institute with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte – 1884 by Georges Seurat is considered to be one of the most important 19th century paintings. Find out more with James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Abstract expressionism invites us in
Must art be beautiful?
This jug is one of the earliest known alkaline-glazed stoneware face vessels made by slaves or their descendants in the Edgefield District of South Carolina.
Picasso’s portrait of Kahnweiler presents the essential innovations of Analytic Cubism.
The convention of elongating the figure can be seen in many of Olowe’s carvings, to visually highlight the importance of the head that holds the inner spiritual power, dignity and strength, and sacredness of one’s destiny.
Geller captures the tensions of the Jewish immigrant experience in the early 20th-century United States.
The idea of sculpture was the subject of Antin’s work, which interrogates beauty, gender, and “traditional” art.
Gordon Parks and the writer Ralph Ellison collaborated to show that Harlem is everywhere.
Does the figure emerge from the stripes of the flag, or do they imprison him?
A new, modern culture of shopping and ready-made clothes were part of women’s new urban mobility.
Though called “an Impressionist in name only,” Caillebotte is all about light and movement–just like his peers.