Midwest Living Review
In 2009, Chicago's Art Institute opened its 264,000-square-foot Modern Wing, a soaring, bright-white space full of paintings, sculptures, photography and interactive electronic art. Even if you're not a museum person, here are five reasons you should see this. Really. 1. You'll appreciate a quick lesson in architecture from within the $300 million wing's sleek glass-curtained skin. The view: South Michigan Avenue's 19th-century landmark buildings and Randolph Street's shimmering modern skyscrapers. And the walk over the new bridge to Millennium Park promises a goose-bumpy appreciation of how Chicago blends art, architecture and nature. 2. You can snap pictures of masterpieces (just hold the flash) and liven up those frames on your desk. 3. Free downloadable tours give you an insider's knowledge of a particular exhibit or gallery (a new 13-minute segment focuses on three Impressionist paintings and Edvard Munch's "The Scream"). (On-site audio tours are $6.) 4. A new layout at the museum places the artworks in chronological order (helping art newbies by showing a timeline of how people developed that creative right brain). 5. Admission is free during opening week. So is year-round access to the new family Ryan Education Center.Open daily. Fee charged. Children under 14 are free.