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Some key mo­ments in the mu­seum’s 125-year his­tory at its cur­rent lo­ca­tion:

1913: The In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion of Mod­ern Art (aka the Ar­mory Show) ar­rives at the mu­seum and in­tro­duces Chicagoans to the works of Pi­casso, Bran­cusi, Gau­gin and Matisse via works and plas­ter copies of sculp­ture. It marks the first time the work of Pi­casso is ex­hib­ited in the U.S.

1954: The 68 world-fa­mous Thorne Minia­ture Rooms go on per­ma­nent dis­play. Each metic­u­lously re-cre­ated room cap­tures a slice of Euro­pean and Amer­i­can life and fur­nish­ings from the 13th cen­tury to the 1930s. The rooms were de­signed on a scale of one inch to one foot by Mrs. James Ward Thorne of Chicago.

2009: The mu­seum’s Mod­ern Wing, de­signed by renowned ar­chi­tect Renzo Piano, opens to the pub­lic. A decade in the mak­ing, this 264,000-square-foot build­ing makes the Art In­sti­tute the sec­ond-largest art mu­seum in the U.S.

2014: Ac­quired by the mu­seum in 1964, Gus­tave Caille­botte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day” re­turns to its gallery af­ter a seven-month restora­tion.

2016: The mu­seum hosts “Van Gogh’s Bed­rooms,” three dis­tinct por­traits of his bed­room in Ar­les — the city in the Provence re­gion of south­ern France where he lived for one year. The ex­hibit, for the first time in North Amer­ica, brings to­gether all three dis­tinct ver­sions of the iconic work.

2017: James McNeill Whistler’s “Ar­range­ment in Grey and Black No. 1 (Por­trait of the Artist’s Mother),” fa­mously nick­named “Whistler’s Mother” and painted in 1878, re­turns to the Art In­sti­tute for the first time in 60 years. The paint­ing, on loan for the 2017 ex­hi­bi­tion, first vis­ited the city in 1933 for the Chicago World’s Fair.


ABOVE: Gallery 53 of the In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion of Mod­ern Art in 1913. BE­LOW: A sketch of the Art In­sti­tute from the cat­a­log for open­ing day, Dec. 8, 1893.

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