There is nothing like the feeling you get from staring past the surface of a canvas, when it begins to subtly unveil itself, finally standing before you in its underpaints, warmly whispering timeless wisdoms into your ear. If you and anyone you know are considering pursuing that sensation at the Art Institute of Chicago anytime in the next year, you might as well spend $40 to snag today's Groupon: one-year memberships to both the renowned Art Institute of Chicago and the Evening Associates, a young professional, art-loving social group. That's a 64% savings off the normal value of $110. With your membership, you get to take someone to the Art Institute with you every time you go. Since Art Institute admission is normally $18 per person, if you and a friend go just twice in the next year, today's Groupon more than pays for itself (memberships get you and a friend unlimited free admission and start the day you get your Groupon in your inbox). Ascend the wondrous steps armed with your Groupon, solve the riddle of the stone lions (the left one is the liar), and gain entry to art's most mysterious, lion-guarded lair.
The world-renowned Art Institute is one of Chicago's finest cultural attractions and the second largest art museum in the United States. This May the art giant became even gianter with its largest expansion yet: the 264,000-square-foot Modern Wing. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the Modern Wing is itself a stunning work of art. The glass, steel, and limestone structure houses the Art Institute's acclaimed collections of modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture and design, photography, and the 2009 Chicago Bears training camp. The wing is also home to the brand-new Terzo Piano restaurant led by award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, famous for his culinary stylings at Spiaggia restaurant and musical stylings in the lobby of Macy's on State Street.
The rest of the Art Institute is as captivating as ever, with one of the world's most amazing collections of impressionist and post-impressionist art in its permanent collection. The museum many permanent galleries, such as the Thorne Miniature Rooms; the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mummy galleries; two gorgeous lions; and renowned European and American decorative arts by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright. And don't forget the numerous traveling exhibits that visit the Art Institute every year; upcoming exhibitions include 500 Ways of Looking at Modern, Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The ever-changing nature of the Art Institute's collection draws visitors back to the museum again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again, so a yearlong membership will be put to good use.
With your Art Institute membership, you reap the following benefits:
- Free museum admission for you and a friend
- Special exhibition viewings
- Invitations to monthly Member Martini Mondays held on the Modern Wing's Bluhm Family Terrace
- 10% discount at the Museum Shop
- 10% discount at the Terzo Piano Restaurant
- Free museum messenger bag
As for the Evening Associates, they are a premier group of almost 1,000 young professionals hip on Chicago's art scene. Membership (a $30 value) gets you invited to awesome evening art and social events throughout the year. These exclusive events keep you informed about the local art scene and new happenings at the museum.
The Art Institute is one of Chicago's true gems. Unfortunately, the upkeep of such fine collections and the addition of the Modern Wing are expensive endeavors, which crept their way into the museum's rising admissions prices. This Groupon comes at a perfect time for art patrons looking on a fixed art appreciation budget. As the museum expands and ticket prices rise accordingly, you can buy a yearlong pass for less than ever. People take planes, trains, automobiles, and Sea-Doos from all over the world to see Art Institute—while we're lucky enough to have it in our own backyard. In case you didn't know, art is more fulfilling with a bantering companion, so grab some art-curious, culture-hungry, special-exhibition-lusting, Martini Monday-fanatical friends and take advantage of the most fabulous culture Chicago has to offer. Note that your Groupon is not tax-deductible.
Special redemption instructions: Your membership packet will arrive in the mail in 3–4 weeks. The packet will be shipped to your billing address. If you would like the packet shipped elsewhere, email email@example.com with your first and last name, billing address, and new shipping address you'd prefer. For admission to the museum before the packet arrives, simply take your printed Groupon to the front desk and you'll receive a temporary membership card.
Here's what critics are saying about the fantastic new addition:
Here's what a recent museum-goer says:
- The wing featured many different mediums...sculpture, abstract paintings, photography, film, pop art. I was amazed and awed by the entire design and left feeling refreshed, inspired, relaxed and intrigued. – Dylan D., Yelp