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Closed for reinstallation

 
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Past Exhibitions

Thick smears of paint partially cover a photograph of a seascape

Smart to the Core: Medium / Image

September 23–December 12, 2021

Presented as primary source material for the University of Chicago Core sequence "Media Aesthetics," this exhibition seeks to interrogate the ethical, political, and epistemological debates about images and perception.

A painting of multiple characters marching alongside a car in subdued but vibrant colors

Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change, and the MacArthur Fellows Program at 40

Presented in multiple venues and neighborhoods throughout Chicago

Presented in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows Program, this multi-site exhibition uses the idea of “the commons” to explore the current socio-political moment, in which questions of inclusion, exclusion, ownership, and rights of access are constantly being challenged across a wide array of human endeavors.

Luca Cambiaso, Venus and Cupid, c. 1570, Oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago, A. A. Munger Collection, 1942.290.

Lust, Love, and Loss in Renaissance Europe

April 8–June 13, 2021

Passion, violence, and virtue emerge in this exhibition as fundamental, intertwined elements in the artworks of Renaissance Europe.

Museum as Classroom

April 9–June 13, 2021

Organized by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry, this presentation features clusters of artworks that were selected for individual courses across disciplines at the University of Chicago—ranging from “Woodblock Prints of Japan” to “Queer Theory and Queer Practice.”

Unmade bed with rustled sheets and several hairpins resting on it, black and white photo.

Take Care

Fall 2020 and Online

What does it mean to care for something, someone, or ourselves? Drawing generously from the Smart Museum’s collection, Take Care seeks to unpack matters of care from the personal to the collective.

Claudia Wieser: Generations

Fall 2020 and online

Generations is a seven-year survey of the distinctive, multi-faceted practice of Berlin-based artist Claudia Wieser. 

Museum as classroom

Fall 2020

Organized by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry, this presentation features clusters of artworks that were selected for individual courses across disciplines at the University of Chicago—ranging from “Diasporic Practices in Contemporary Art” to “Ancient Mediterranean Worlds.”

The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China

Reconfigured presentation: July 24–August 9, 2020

From gunpowder to crystal, and silk to cigarettes, contemporary artists working in China have experimented with various materials, transforming seemingly everyday objects into large-scale artworks

John Preus: Adaptation

January 6–June 14, 2020

A site-specific installation at Harris Public Policy provides a platform for conversations about public education and the future of the public realm in general.

Down Time: On the Art of Retreat

October 25–December 15, 2019

Where can we turn when we need space and time away? Organized by UChicago students, this exhibition presents a range of public, private, and imagined settings—from lush gardens in France, to shadowy hallways, to kaleidoscopic landscapes—that point to realms of retreat.