Best Of Chicago

Best Iconic Works Of Art In Chicago

April 16, 2012 6:00 AM

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(credit: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images)

By Angela Hazen

Chicago is known for incredible works of art. If you live in Chicago, you no doubt enjoy the variety of public art here — everything from sculptures, fountains, artistic buildings and architecture. Chicago locals enjoy hosting out-of-town friends and families. They get to show off the artistic side of this exciting city. Here are some of the unforgettable works of art in Chicago that can’t be missed on the next visit.

buckinghamfountain Best Iconic Works Of Art In Chicago

(credit: Thinkstock)

Buckingham Fountain
500 South Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 742-7648
chicagoparkdistrict.com

Price: Free
Hours: Mid-April to Mid-October – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Officially named the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, this beautiful fountain is considered to be one of the grandest focal points in Chicago. A must see for tourists, Chicago natives also love to visit this massive wedding cake styled fountain. Dedicated in 1927 and donated from Kate Buckingham in memoriam of her brother to Chicago, this icon is a year-round draw. In the summer it holds light shows, and in the winter is covered with lights when the fountain’s water is turned off. With Lake Michigan in the background, the Buckingham fountain is a beautiful sight to see all year long.

artinstitutelions Best Iconic Works Of Art In Chicago

(credit: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images)

The Lion Statues at the Art Institute of Chicago
111 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600
www.artic.edu

Price: Free
Hours: 24/7

Tourists from around the world make the steps near the Art Institute of Chicago their starting point for a visit. With maps in hand, the first set of pictures is that of the gigantic lion statues in front of the Institute. Built by sculptor Edward Kemeys for the Art Institute’s 1893 opening, these massive statues face both to the north and south sides of Chicago. The lions are not identical though. They have two very distinct looks — one looking strong and brave and the other looking ready to pounce. These iconic works were gifts given to the Art Institute as a gift from Mrs. Henry Field, however all locals and visitors to Chicago benefit.

Related: Quick Guide To Free Museum Days

willistower Best Iconic Works Of Art In Chicago

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Willis Tower
233 S Wacker Dr # 3530
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 875-9696
www.willistower.com

Price:$16.50 to $35
Hours: Apr to Sep – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Oct to Mar – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Skydeck open 365 days a year

Talk about architecture at its peak. The Willis Tower can be seen for miles around the City of Chicago, and an ability to see this structure from a downtown office, condo or house is like a having a piece of art in your backyard. As if it wasn’t enough of a vision to see as an architectural and artistic wonder, architects have outdone themselves by adding a skydeck. This area includes a clear walkway that allows visitors to feel as if they are standing on air, looking down at the city below. This is the site for many “wish you were here” postcards sent from Chicago every day.

picassochicago Best Iconic Works Of Art In Chicago

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Untitled Picasso at the Daley Center
50 W Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 443-5500
thedaleycenter.com

Price: Free
Hours: 24/7

The name “Pablo Picasso” is synonymous for highly creative, extremely expensive art. However in 1967, Picasso gave a piece of his amazing art to Chicago for free, and it’s open to the public for the same price. One amazing thing about this giant structure is that no one really knows what it’s supposed to be. Regardless, local business people, tourists and artists alike are able to enjoy this amazing gift to the city of Chicago. Year round, it serves as a backdrop to the cultural events happening at the Daley Center.

michaeljordanstatue Best Iconic Works Of Art In Chicago

(credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Michael Jordan Statue at the United Center
1901 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 455-4500
unitedcenter.com

Price: Free
Hours: 24/7

Whenever visitors to the United Center catch a Chicago Bulls game, they can recall a piece of Chicago history that is monumental to the sport. The statue of Michael Jordan, unveiled in 1994, is a piece of art that seems to be more than Jordan making one of his famous slam dunks. It is a piece of Chicago history, frozen in time, that captures the impact Jordan’s Bulls had on Chicago and the game of basketball. Visitors and tourists from all over the world love to see this statue, and often stop for a photo with the acclaimed athlete.

Related: Top 7 Places To Take Your Friends In Town

What are your favorite works of art in Chicago? Let us know in a comment below.

Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She has traveled to Europe on several occasions, and keeps her readers up to date with local and international style, shopping, fashion and beauty trends. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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