United States

5550 S. Greenwood Ave
Phone: (773) 702-0200
Website: http://smartmuseum.uchica

Smart Museum Of Art -- University Of Chicago

As the art museum of the University of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art takes a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to the collection, display, and interpretation of art. Founded in 1974, the Smart is home to acclaimed special exhibitions and a permanent collection that spans five thousand years of artistic creation. Working in close collaboration with scholars from the University of Chicago, the Smart has established itself as a leading academic art museum and an engine of adventurous thinking about the visual arts and their place in society.

Permanent Collection

Founded in 1974 with a gift from the Smart Family Foundation and designed by the renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, the Smart Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of over 10,000 objects, spanning five millennia of both Western and Eastern civilizations. Particular strengths of the collection include European and American modern and contemporary works, East Asian art, and works on paper from all periods. Other highlights of the collection include ancient Greek vases and Chinese bronzes; medieval sculpture; Old Master paintings; Frank Lloyd Wright furniture; Tiffany glass; modern sculpture by Degas, Matisse, and Rodin; and 20th-century paintings and sculpture by Mark Rothko, Arthur Dove, Diego Rivera, Henry Moore, and Richard Hunt.

Previous Exhibitions

Go Figure

June 30, 2011 - September 4, 2011

The human form has endured as a powerful subject throughout the history of art. This episodic exhibition illustrates pivotal moments in figurative art of the last sixty years through the work of nine exceptional artists: Nick Cave, Leon Golub, Yun-Fei Ji, Kerry James Marshall, Christina Ramberg, MartĂ­n RamĂ­rez, Ravinder Reddy, Clare Rojas, and Sylvia Sleigh.

Despite their varied approaches to media and subject, these artists are bound by their sustained engagement with the human figure and by their use of pattern as a visual strategy to enhance, entice, or complicate our viewing experience. Go Figure brings together exemplary paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the Smart Museum and other collections throughout Chicago. Together, these works explore issues of identity, personal history, and social change and, in doing so, reveal the versatile capacity of art to capture the diversity and complexity of contemporary human experience.

The Tragic Muse: Art and Emotion, 1700-1900

February 10, 2011 - June 5, 2011

This exhibition examines two centuries of works intertwined with emotion—from the sacrifice of classical heroines to the grief of ordinary people, from martyred saints to actors in tragic roles—and explores how art’s cathartic power grows or fades for new generations of viewers. With over forty paintings, sculptures, and prints, The Tragic Muse combines works from the Smart’s collection—both long-held treasures and new acquisitions—with important loans from the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, and Tate.

Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temple...+ [ Read all ]

Exhibitions (2)

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Opening hours

Tues, Wed, Fri 10 am – 5 pm
Thurs 10 am – 8 pm
Sat and Sun 10 am – 5 pm

Summer Hours:
Tues - Sun 10 am – 5 pm

Galleries closed Mondays and holidays

Café and Museum Shop open daily.

Getting there

The Smart Museum of Art is located on the University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus.

Travel by car:
Via Lake Shore Drive -- Exit 53rd Street, and turn left on Hyde Park Boulevard. Turn right on 55th Street and continue west to Greenwood Avenue, turn left. The Museum is on the right in the center of the block.

Via The Kennedy Expressway (90-94) -- Exit at Garfield Boulevard (55th Street), and travel east through Washington Park. Turn right to join 55th Street and continue until you reach Greenwood Avenue. Turn right; the Museum is on the right in the center of the block.

Parking is available in the University's parking garage located on the south side of 55th Street between Greenwood Avenue and Ellis Avenue. The garage is free after 4pm on weekdays and all day on weekends. There is also metered visitor and handicapped parking in the Pierce Towers Lot (corner of 55th Street and Greenwood Avenue) and in the University Police Department Lot (on Ellis Avenue between 55 th and 56th Streets).

A 15-minute loading zone space for group drop-off is available at the Museum's entrance on Greenwood Avenue.

Travel by Public Transportation:
Red Line to Garfield Boulevard stop -- Transfer to eastbound CTA #55 Garfield bus or #55X Garfield Express bus, exit Ellis Avenue and walk one block east to Greenwood Avenue.

Jackson Park Express (CTA bus #6) to 55th Street –– Transfer to westbound CTA #55 Garfield bus, exit Greenwood Avenue.


disabled facilities and entrances, shop/café, educational classrooms

Museum internal and external photos (3)

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The Smart Museum of Art's mission is fundamentally educational. Encouraging all participants to learn about art in the context of multiple voices, perspectives, and disciplines, the Museum's education programs provide both campus and public audiences with broad access to its collections and exhibitions.

The Smart Museum collaborates regularly with University of Chicago faculty and students to shape exhibitions, publications, and programs.


Since 1992, the Smart Museum has served local schoolchildren and teachers on Chicago's South Side through comprehensive public education programs.

These multi-session programs introduce students to ways of looking at and making art while developing basic analytic, communication and creative skills.


he Smart offers a variety of drop-in family programs featuring hands-on art activities, gallery games, and other fun projects.

Family Days
Engage in some creative looking and try a hands-on art activity during one of the Smart’s free, drop-in Family Days. See what the fun is all about and view photos of our family days on Flickr.

Art Afternoons
Wednesdays in July
Look at amazing art, play gallery games, and do a different art activity each week during our popular summer series of Art Afternoons.

smARTkids @ the Library
Second Saturdays during the school year
Join the Smart Museum and the Blackstone and Bessie Coleman branches of the Chicago Public Library for free artist-led family workshops that include art projects and related stories.


Our informed, active members enrich the life of the Smart Museum and make vital contributions to our success. In thanks, we offer discounts at Hyde Park’s finest restaurants, special pricing for plays and concerts at the University, insider information about the Museum itself, and much more.

Whether renewing your membership or thinking about joining for the first time, we invite you to consider all the reasons it’s better to belong: