Top 10 Cities for Art Lovers
They might call it the Second City, but Chicago is second to none when it comes to its lively arts scene. The Art Institute of Chicago (www.artic.edu) in itself is reason enough for art enthusiasts to let the winds blow them towards the Windy City – this phenomenal museum, flanked by its two iconic lion statues, hosts one of the world’s finest collection of Impressionist paintings, as well as some fantastic works from more recent art icons including Picasso, Dali, Pollock, and Warhol. Don't miss its much-buzzed-about, Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, which debuted in May 2009, making the museum the second-largest in the U.S. Another noteworthy Chicago draw is the Museum of Contemporary Art (www.mcachicago.org), where a broad spectrum of contemporary arts, from painting, sculpture, and photography, to film, dance, and music, can be enjoyed. There are a few very good special interest museums, as well – try the stirring National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum (www.nvvam.org), the rich National Museum of Mexican Art (www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org), or the exotic Oriental Institute Museum (oi.uchicago.edu/museum). And don’t forget to keep your eyes open for all of that outdoor public art that you’ll pass in transit – The Loop area alone could earn Chicago a ranking among the top cities for art lovers, as it includes an untitled Picasso (known locally as "The Picasso"), Miro’s Chicago, Chagall’s Four Seasons, and Calder’s Flamingo.