The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. It is encyclopedic in nature with strong holdings across all media, all traditions and all ages. The Art Institute is particularly recognized for its extraordinary Impressionist, Modern, Contemporary and American collections, among other aspects of its holdings. In addition to housing its permanent collection, it typically stages 35-40 special exhibitions a year. In 2014, it was named by TripAdvisor travelers as the number one museum in the world, a remarkable recognition that speaks not only to the quality of the collection but to the entirety of the visitor experience.
The Art Institute welcomes between 1,400,000 and 1,800,000 visitors a year and has a membership of 100,000. The museum has an annual operating budget of approximately $110 million.
Founded in 1879, the Art Institute grew with the success of Chicago and quickly attained world class stature given the strength of its collection. The Art Institute has expanded several times in its history, most recently and notably with the opening in 2009 of the 264,000 square foot Modern Wing designed by internationally acclaimed architect Renzo Piano. The addition has been critically important to the museum as it not only provided much needed gallery space, but also allowed the Art Institute to reorganize its galleries to present the collection in a more logical and accessible fashion. The new addition also includes one of the largest education facilities at any museum and this center has allowed the Art Institute to expand its already impressive array of offerings.