An intimate museum for bold encounters with art

As the fine arts museum of the University of Chicago, the Smart is home to thought-provoking exhibitions and an exquisite collection of more than 15,000 objects, including modern masterpieces, millennia-old Chinese ritual objects, rich examples of Renaissance painting, and provocative works of contemporary art.

Through collaborations with scholars, the Smart has established itself as a driving force for creative thinking through the arts at the University and a pioneering model of what a 21st century academic art museum can be. The Museum also offers distinctive programs that inspire visitors of all ages to experience the dynamic role of the visual arts in our world. The Smart first opened in 1974.

The Bulletin

Read more about the Smart's recent activities in our biennial report. The 2014–2015 Bulletin is now available online and details the Museum’s exhibitions, programs, acquisitions, and generous supporters over the last fiscal year.

Mission statement

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago opens the world through art and ideas.

Always free

Thanks to the support of our Smart Partners, admission to the Smart Museum of Art is always free and open to all. 


General support for the Smart Museum’s programs and operations in fiscal year 2016 are provided in part by the Smart Family Foundation; SmartPartners; Paul and Miriam Kirkley Fund for Acquisitions; The University of Chicago; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Pamela and R. Christopher Hoehn-Saric Exhibition Fund; Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; Eloise W. Martin Fund; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; Association of Art Museum Directors and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Audrey and Michael Wyatt Art Education Fund; Janis Kanter and Thomas McCormick Endowment; Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy Student Work Fund; Pentimenti Productions NFP; Joel and Carole Bernstein Endowment; and J & S Freehling Arts Fund.