Galleries • Museums
Galleries • Museums
River North is Chicago's oldest gallery center, where nearly two dozen galleries still call this district home today. Now associated with many design stores and showrooms, as well as popular restaurants and an ever-growing number of luxury condo and apartment buildings, River North was first started in the late 1970s when several area galleries were drawn to the expansive and dynamic spaces offered by the neighborhood's former manufacturing buildings.
The intersection of Superior and Franklin streets is the nexus of the River North gallery district today. On Saturday mornings (except on major holidays) CGN hosts a free gallery tour in the district 11am-12:30pm. Meet at Fabcakes (714 N Wells.)
Several galleries also stay open late on the first Friday of each month. Opening receptions here for new exhibitions generally take place on the First Friday of January, March, May, July, September and November.
The West Side is comprised of established, emerging, and community art spaces in the West Loop, Fulton Market, Randolph Street, River West, West Town and Ukrainian Village.
Along with galleries, you can find antiques, bargain furniture, or high-end design at places like Wright, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, and Randolph Street Market.
Many of the area’s hottest restaurants are located in the West Loop and on the city’s West Side, making great post-gallery destinations.
South of the city center, galleries, museums and unique artist communities can be found in several dynamic and evolving neighborhoods.
• In Pilsen galleries and spaces are generally located near 18th and Halsted streets as well as along Canalport.
• Further south in Bridgeport, you'll find the Bridgeport Art Center, as well as the Zhou B Art Center, large buildings that have been developed to provide studio spaces and exhibition venues for artists. These spaces are also popular for creative special event rentals.
• In Hyde Park you will find several museums affiliated with the University of Chicago, as well as The DuSable Museum and the Hyde Park Art Center. Jackson Park/Dorchester is home to the Theaster Gates’ Stony Island Arts Bank and the Rebuild Foundation, and it's also the proposed home of the future Barack Obama Presidential Center. Nearby is also the Museum of Science and Industry.
Many galleries, museums and cultural spaces radiate out from the heart of Chicago's downtown, based along the famous Michigan Avenue, also popularly know as the Magnificent Mile. Hidden spaces are tucked into area neighborhoods like the Gold Coast and Streeterville, while the Tree Studios on State Street offer historic settings for art. From Oak Street to the Chicago River, down near Millennium Park and past Congress Parkway to the South Loop, galleries occupy spaces steps from Michigan Avenue, as well as in some of Chicago’s most iconic skyscrapers.
Look for the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), as well as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Columbia College Chicago.
The Museum Campus is the lakeside base for some of Chicago's most famous museums, including the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium.
The North Side of Chicago begins (on our map) approximately at North Avenue up and through to the northern suburbs line. Active gallery districts of this area include, but are not limited to, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Ravenswood, Uptown and Edgewater.
Suburbs / Midwest
Beyond the Chicago city limits, a vibrant art scene extends in all directions.
- Antiques and Artifacts
- Chicago Scenes
- Conceptual / Performance
- Fine Prints & Painting – Pre 18th Century
- Abstract Expressionism
- Audubon Prints
- Early 20th Century
- Eastern European
- Fiber Arts / Textiles
- Fine Prints & Painting – 18th & 19th C.
- Fine Prints – Contemporary
- Furniture & Decorative Arts
- Graphic Art
- Folk / Outsider
- Old Masters
- Functional Art - Jewelry / Fashion
- Latin American
- Modern Contemporary Masters
- Multi-Media / Video
- Poster / Lithography
- Pop / Street Art
- Portraits / Portraiture
- Western (The American West)
- Western European
- Wildlife / Nature
- Works on Paper