Monet to Modern at the Art Institute of Chicago
Experience the Art Institute of Chicago alongside experts, learning about Post-Impressionists and Modernists from Monet and Van Gogh to Picasso and contemporary innovators like Pollock.
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Program No. 17465RJ
4 days
Starts at
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4 days
3 nights
7 meals
3 B 2 L 2 D
Getting There
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Arrival, Registration, and Orientation
Chicago, Illinois
Palmer House Hilton Hotel

Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Entrances to the Palmer House are on Monroe, Wabash, and State Streets. If staying at the Palmer House, you may check in to your guest room beginning at 3:00 p.m. (If you arrive early and your guest room is not available, you are welcome to leave your luggage in the secure storage facility while you explore until 3:00.) Upon receiving your room key card, the front desk staff will inform you of the location for the 4:00 p.m. Road Scholar Orientation, where you will be greeted by your host from the Art Institute. PROGRAM REGISTRATION & RECEPTION: Please join us at 4:00pm in our designated meeting room to register with the program staff and enjoy a brief reception with your fellow participants. ORIENTATION & OVERVIEW: Enjoy a relaxed orientation and overview of the program, the Palmer House, the Art Institute, and Chicago. Your host will introduce you to the history of the Art Institute and its collection, including the unique historic relationship between the Art Institute and the Palmer House. Your Art Institute Program Coordinator will also provide you with meal vouchers for the Palmer House. Please bring the appropriate voucher for each meal. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Following orientation, a light dinner will be served at approximately 6:00. Unless indicated otherwise, dinner will be at the Lockwood Restaurant in the Palmer House lobby. (Be sure to bring the appropriate meal voucher.) Lockwood is a renowned downtown dining destination with a menu featuring American cuisine enhanced by herbs, vegetables, and urban honey harvested from its very own rooftop garden and apiary. Lockwood is a proud supporter of local, sustainable, artisan producers and suppliers.

Early Entry/Gallery Talks/Free Evening
Chicago, Illinois
Palmer House Hilton Hotel

Breakfast: Greet your fellow participants each morning at the hotel’s deluxe continental breakfast buffet. The hot and cold breakfast buffet served in Lockwood Restaurant features some or all of the following items: toast, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, deli meats and cheeses, oatmeal, sausage, bacon, potatoes, freshly prepared eggs to order, omelet, French toast, pancakes or waffles, coffee, tea, milk and juice.

Morning: INTRODUCTION TO THE ART INSTITUTE: Meet your fellow participants and an Art Institute representative at 9:30am to walk to the Art Institute for early entry before the general public. Enjoy an introductory gallery walk of the Art Institute of Chicago with an in-depth focus on the architecture, engineering, environmentalism, and scope of the Art Institute's new addition, the Modern Wing, including an exclusive look of the Modern Wing's state-of-the-art Ryan Education Center. Weather permitting, we'll also visit the Modern Wing's rooftop Bluhm Family Sculpture Terrace with breathtaking views of Chicago's historic architectural legacy, contemporary skyscrapers, Millennium Park, and Lake Michigan.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch in the Art Institute's Museum Café, offering a broad range of selections with sustainable, local, and seasonal ingredients. The café features a deli station with a variety of sandwiches, salads, and soups; a full grill for burgers; entree specials; an Italian pizza station; and a dessert station with a full array of homemade treats. Eat at your own pace with your fellow Road Scholar companions and enjoy some free time after lunch to browse the museum galleries on your own.

Afternoon: GALLERY TALKS: Enjoy a full afternoon of multiple gallery talks led by Art Institute education staff. Visit the recently renovated and reinstalled galleries of Post-Impressionism, exploring artists like Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, which brings us up to the beginning of European Modernism in the Modern Wing. Continue in the late afternoon with a gallery talk by Art Institute lecturing staff on one of the Modern Wing's recently installed collections of Modern art, Contemporary art, Photography, and Architecture. Specific arrangement of discussions throughout the program is subject to change. Highlights will include some or all of the following: masters of early European Modernism, such as Matisse and the Fauves, Picasso and Cubism, German Expressionism, Surrealists Dali and Magritte; American Modernism and works by the Stieglitz Circle, Georgia O'Keeffe, Grant Wood, Edward Hopper; Abstract Expressionists including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning; and contemporary artists Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, Eva Hesse, Charles Ray, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jeff Wall, Gerhard Richter, and more. The Art Institute's galleries of modern and contemporary art are always changing, giving us the opportunity to visit works by artists not listed here, while also resulting in that some artists listed here may not be on display during the program.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel in Lockwood Restaurant. The chef's philosophy is "cooking by hand" with as much made in house from scratch as possible. A choice of entree is offered nightly with your plated and served three-course meal.

Evening: FREE EVENING: Take this opportunity to explore the many cultural and historic attractions Chicago has to offers. The city has an outstanding reputation for blues and jazz. You can stroll through Millennium Park to admire the lights and art, or simply relax with the many amenities at the hotel. Consider a visit the Gene Siskel Film Center or Second City comedy improv. Information on Chicago's attractions is provided at orientation on Day 1 and included in your preparatory materials.

Early Entry/Gallery Talk/Millennium Park and Modern Wing Architectural Tour
Chicago, Illinois
Palmer House Hilton Hotel

Breakfast: Deluxe continental breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: GALLERY TALK: Meet your fellow participants and an Art Institute representative at 9:30 to walk to the Art Institute for early entry. Continue our exploration of the Art Institute's world class modern and contemporary art collection with an Art Institute lecturer or a curatorial staff member of the Art Institute's Contemporary Art Department or of another curatorial department represented in the Modern Wing.

Lunch: Get to know your fellow Road Scholar participants and Art Institute staff and volunteer representatives better over lunch in the Art Institute's Museum Café.

Afternoon: Squeeze in the 12:00 public gallery talk after lunch before regrouping for our art and architectural field trip. The afternoon continues with an in-depth exploration of Millennium Park and the Modern Wing led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Find out how top architects, artists and engineers collaborated with Chicago’s movers and shakers to transform an ugly railway and parking lot into a place that has thrilled millions and become the envy of cities throughout the world. Chicago Architecture Foundation docents explain the inspiration for Anish Kapoor’s huge reflective Cloud Gate sculpture, nicknamed the “Bean,” and Jaume Plensa’s ever-changing high-tech Crown Fountain. We explore the art and architecture of Frank Gehry’s exuberant Jay Pritzker Music Pavilion and sculptural BP Bridge. Discover the many ways that Kathryn Gustafson’s Lurie Garden symbolizes Chicago history and see how the Park has become the world’s largest roof garden. See how the Modern Wing, designed by Renzo Piano, continues and expands the contemporary landscape of Chicago's lakefront, adjoining and connecting with Millennium Park with the graceful, slender, 620-foot Nichols Bridgeway. Learn how the Modern Wing is a model of design, technology, and green architecture, incorporating several elements, including artificial and natural lighting elements and the unique sunshade "flying carpet" rooftop.

Dinner: Dinner on your own. Enjoy this opportunity to explore Chicago's many excellent and historic eateries, such as Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill, Russian Tea Time, Ada's Famous Deli, 17/west at the Berghoff, the Art Institute's new Modern Wing rooftop restaurant Terzo Piano, and more. A list of recommendations will be provided. Eat on your own time and pace to take advantage of the evening programs at the Art Institute.

Evening: Return to the Art Institute this evening to explore on your own or attend the public programs. The Art Institute is open until 8:00pm Thursday evenings. A free-time excursion to the Chicago Symphony may be arranged by your Art Institute Program Coordinator. Additional information will be provided in advance, if this opportunity becomes available.

Early Entry/Gallery Talk/Departure
Chicago, Illinois

Breakfast: Deluxe continental breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: GALLERY TALK: Meet your fellow participants and an Art Institute representative at 9:30 to walk to the Art Institute for early entry. Conclude the program with a morning gallery talk led by the Art Institute education staff on one of the Modern Wing's newly installed collections, including Modern art, Contemporary art, Photography, and Architecture. Specific arrangement of discussions throughout the program is subject to change; see above for a list of sample artists and topics.

Afternoon: The program concludes at approximately 11:15am. We encourage you to remain in the Art Institute to enjoy the afternoon public gallery talks, revisit your favorite galleries, or explore on your own.

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