The Chicago Guide for Art Lovers and Art Collectors

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Curated By

Ella Birman

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The art institute with statues and beautiful sculptures.
Curator’s statement

As a passionate patron of the arts and a creative soul, I am fortunate to live in Chicago, a city with such a vibrant, welcoming art scene. This guide provides a curated journey through Chicago's top destinations for affluent art lovers and art collectors, from the luxurious accommodations at The Peninsula and 21C Museum Hotels to the diverse offerings of the city's leading art institutions. Whether you're looking to expand your collection or immerse yourself in the world of art, Chicago offers an unparalleled experience of luxury, culture, and artistic exploration.

The Fora Difference

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago

Elegant luxury hotel located in a high-rise in downtown Chicago.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

21c Museum Hotel Chicago

An art-obsessed property with bold, tasteful decor plus fantastic dining, a Peloton-equipped fitness center and a spa.

Fora Perks
  • $50 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Ella to book your trip.

Things to do in Chicago

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When to Visit: Plan Around Expo Chicago

Begin your art-centric Chicago experience with Expo Chicago, the leading international art fair held annually at Navy Pier. Scheduled for April 11-14, 2024, this event is a convergence of the world's top art galleries, showcasing an impressive array of contemporary art. Expo Chicago is not just an exhibition but a cultural event, offering an unparalleled opportunity to view, engage with, and purchase exceptional artworks.

Pro tip: Invest in the VIP access to receive a tailored itinerary exploring Chicago's contemporary and modern art scene, including special visits to the city's top private collections, artist studios, curator-led tours of the nation's top institutions as well as invitation-only receptions with fellow art patrons.

Visit The Art Institute of Chicago

For several years running, the Art Institute of Chicago has been one of TripAdvisor’s “Best of the Best” US attractions. Home to over 300,000 works, including masterpieces from icons like Van Gogh and Monet, this museum's modern wing is a standout, showcasing contemporary art in an architecturally significant space.

Pro tip: Short on time? Purchase your tickets in advance - The Art Institute of Chicago.

Explore Kavi Gupta Gallery

Kavi Gupta Gallery is a must-visit for contemporary art enthusiasts. This gallery represents both emerging and established artists and is known for its boundary-pushing exhibitions, offering a glimpse into the cutting edge of the art world.

Pro tip: when visiting Kavi Gupta, make time to check out the defining restaurants in the Fulton Market neighborhood, including Au Cheval, Girl & The Goat (reservation a must), and The Publican.

Visit The Hyde Park Arts Center

The Hyde Park Arts Center is a vibrant space for contemporary arts, offering exhibitions and educational programs. It's an excellent place to connect with Chicago's local art scene and discover new artistic perspectives.

Attend a Hindman Auction

For collectors, attending a Hindman auction is a thrilling and potentially rewarding experience for art collectors. Hindman, one of America's leading fine art auction houses, presents a diverse array of artworks, from modern masterpieces to historical treasures.

Pro tip: Be sure to register to bid and sign up for the Hindman newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming auctions and previews.

Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Conclude your art tour at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), a premier venue for contemporary art in various forms. MCA's dynamic exhibitions showcase the diversity of contemporary artistic expression.

Pro tip: Enjoy a pre-or-post-visit meal at Marisol on the ground level of the MCA and stop by to shop fashion and objects with wine in hand at the nearby Space 519.

Places to eat & drink in Chicago

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RL Grill, Ralph Lauren's signature restaurant, offers a dining experience steeped in classic American elegance. It's a perfect spot for a luxurious meal, combining fine dining with an atmosphere that complements the artistic theme of your trip.

Pro tip: Ask Danny at the bar to make you the Old Fashioned and order their signature Lobster Bisque and burger.

Alinea, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, offers a unique culinary adventure where food meets art. Chef Grant Achatz's creations provide a multisensory dining experience that is both innovative and visually stunning, echoing the artistic essence of your visit.

Pro tip: Watch the Chef’s Table episode on Netflix before you go.

Need to Know

Now is the time to start planning your trip to Chicago, especially with Expo Chicago scheduled for April 11-14, 2024.

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Oluwaseyi Aladeselu's guide, How to Spend a Luxury Weekend in Chicago, Illinois. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Chicago.

Ella Birman in a cheetah print top

Travel Advisor

Ella Birman

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Chicago.