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 artworks, rich examples of European 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 annual report. The 2015–2016 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 2018–2019 is provided in part by the Smart Family Foundation, the Museum’s SmartPartners, The University of Chicago, Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard Driehaus Foundation, Janis Kanter and Thomas McCormick Endowment, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Harper Court Arts Council, the Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy Student Work Fund, Eloise W. Martin Fund, Brooks McCormick, Jr. Japanese Print Collection Care Endowment, J & S Freehling Arts Fund, Estate of Miriam Graham, Estate of Lester and Betty Guttman, and The Estate of Gerald Ratner.

Illinois Arts Council Agency