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South lion at the Art Institute of Chicago. (Heather Paul / Flickr)

From the Picasso to the Bean to countless city murals, public art is a vibrant part of Chicago culture. But for over a century, Chicagoans have taken special pride in a pair of sculptures watching over Michigan Avenue. Geoffrey Baer explains.

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Édouard Manet. “Jeanne (Spring),” 1881. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

For its big summer show this year, the Art Institute takes a fresh look at the early modern artist, Edouard Manet. We tour the show.

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Paul Strand. Young Boy, Gondeville, Charente, France, 1951. Collection of Robin and Sandy Stuart. © Aperture Foundation, Inc. Paul Strand Archive.

Photography has long been used to make images of iconic works of art. Sometimes the photographs themselves become icons. A new show explores a collection of famous pictures from the 20th century.

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Dawoud Bey. “Untitled #1 (Picket Fence and Farmhouse),” from the series “Night Coming Tenderly, Black,” 2017. Rennie Collection, Vancouver. © Dawoud Bey.

In a 1967 speech, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said the Underground Railroad “symbolized hope when freedom was almost an impossible dream.” Chicago photographer Dawoud Bey talks about his new exhibition, “Night Coming Tenderly, Black.” 

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(Utagawa Toyokuni. A painting from One Hundred Looks of Various Women, 1816. Weston Collection.)

History, beauty and pleasure are on display in the first public showing of a standout collection of Japanese art. 

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The Art Institute of Chicago in 1893 (Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago)

Saturday marks 125 years since the opening of the historic building that houses the Art Institute of Chicago. We reflect on the past – and look to the future – with James Rondeau, the museum’s president and director.

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Jim Nutt. “Wowidow,” 1968. The Art Institute of Chicago, The Lacy Armour and Samuel and Blanche Koffler Acquisition funds; the Estate of Walter Aitken. © Jim Nutt.

A new show at the Art Institute explores the work of a group of Chicago artists who made a strong impression on the art world in the 1960s.

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John Singer Sargent. “Street in Venice,” 1882. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Avalon Foundation.

Chicago museums and collectors played a critical role in the life of an American artist with an international profile. We take a look at the spectacular paintings of John Singer Sargent.

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Charles White. “Trenton Six,” 1949. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX. (© The Charles White Archives Inc.)

On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Charles White is being recognized with the first major retrospective of his work since 1982. 

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Ivan Albright. “Portrait of Mary Block,” 1955-‘57. Gift of Mary and Leigh Block. (© The Art Institute of Chicago)

By all accounts, Ivan Albright was a lighthearted fellow – but in the mid-20th century, the Chicago artist painted some very dark pictures.

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El Lissitzky. “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge,” 1920. Ne boltai! Collection.

An exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago features the artistic outpouring of Russian artists after the October Revolution of 1917, the coup that brought the Soviet Union into being more than a century ago.

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Actor Dion Johnstone portrays Ira Aldridge in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Red Velvet.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Exploring the connection between a controversial painting at the Art Institute and the new play “Red Velvet” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

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The Christmas season is the only time to see a rare Nativity scene that blends both spiritual and earthly pursuits. We go for a look.

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Paul Gauguin. Portrait of the Artist with the Yellow Christ, 1890–91. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, acquired by the national museums with the participation of Philippe Meyer and a Japanese sponsorship coordinated by the newspaper Nikkei, 1994.

A new exhibit at the Art Institute showcases the little-known woodworking and ceramics of artist Paul Gauguin.

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James McNeill Whistler. “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother),” 1871. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, RF 699. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

We visit the Art Institute of Chicago to find out more about the 19th century oil painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black, Number One” – commonly known as “Whistler’s Mother.” 

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“Armor for Man and Horse,” about 1520 with modern costume. South German, Nuremberg. The Art Institute of Chicago, George F. Harding Collection.

The Art Institute of Chicago unveils new galleries of medieval and Renaissance art – including the re-installation of the popular arms and armor collection. We get a sneak peek.