With Expo Chicago kicking off on the 22nd, the fair isn’t the only thing you should be checking out. With the flight from New York to Chicago being enough to watch an episode or two of Scandal (around 2 hours), it’s a perfect, quick trip. If you’ve got only 48 hours to spend in the Second City, make sure to hit up these must-see museums and galleries.


Day 1:

After the jet from New York to Chicago, poking around these galleries can provide the perfect refresher!


Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

Image // Courtesy of art.newcity.com

Located in the River North Gallery District, the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery has been displaying an excellent array of contemporary art for over forty years. With the gallery’s guiding principal being “to display an equal mix of female and male artists whose careers range from emerging to established”, you’re sure to spot a piece you’ll love. And an interesting factoid about the space is that since its conception, the gallery has been displaying the sculptures of the then unknown artist Deborah Butterfield, whose work is shown above. Now, the gallery continues to support the artist, hosting annual shows on her work.


Scheider Gallery

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Image // Courtesy of Schneider Gallery

Focused on displaying the work of contemporary photographers, the Scheider Gallery contains work by international artists who hail from places ranging from Argentina to Germany. Located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, the gallery prides itself on its unique modes of displaying photography. So step inside and become immersed in the beautiful range of prints.


Gallery 400

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Image // Courtesy of Gallery 400

Situated in the West Loop, Gallery 400 is part of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Providing a variety of empowering and innovative lectures, exhibitions, and commissions, the gallery aims to make art accessible to a broad audience and has been recognized for the diversity exhibited in its programming. If you’re planning on traveling to Chicago soon, check out “Back to the Future: Visualizing the Arts at UIC,” which prompts a discussion on the role of the University and its relation to the city. Pictured above is a piece from the show.



Day 2:

Maybe your feeling more rested and are ready to take on the big shots. Stop by the Art Institute of Chicago, filled with iconic works ranging from American Gothic to Nighthawks. Chagall’s stained glass windows are as much of a must-see as Seurat’s genius display of pointillism in A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. To spice up an already exquisite display of art history, have fun thinking about the galleries being explored by Ferris Bueller and co. in one of the most iconic films of the ’80s.

Image // Courtesy of the Chicago Institute of Art


After exiting the museum, walk through the Loop and check out the impressive display of public art. Make sure to stop at Alexander Calder’s Flamingo, pictured below. Plus, can you even say you’ve visited Chicago without snapping a shot of your reflection in The Bean?

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Image // Courtesy of Public Art in Chicago


Perhaps you’re feeling like your visit is in need of an excellent ‘gram. Fear not, the Museum of Contemporary Art is filled with eye-catching works that can provide the perfect backdrop for any photo. Plus, don’t leave your trip empty-handed; the museum has an impressive gift shop full of unique souvenirs.

Image // Courtesy of Newcity Art, Nick Cave


Top image// City of Chicago