A history of surrealism, surreal art, and the artists involved in the surrealist art movement. A definitive history of the surrealist movement.

Surrealist Art at the Art Institute of Chicago

Museum Overview

The Art Institute of Chicago is located in South Michigan Avenue, Chicago. It was founded in 1879 as both a school and a museum. At the Institute one can see works of art of the highest quality. There are works of art representing the world's diverse artistic traditions and cultures spreading across a time-span of 5000 years. Over the years the Institute has grown and expanded as more and more art collections arrived at the museum to be shared with the general public. The school's graduate program is considered to be one of the best art programs in the country.

There is something at the Institute for everyone including children who can discover, explore and enjoy art through art-making activities, exhibitions, self-guides and more.

There is a self-service café available on the lower level near the Columbus Drive entrance which is open daily between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm.

Plan Your Visit

The Art Institute of Chicago is open from Monday to Wednesday from 10.30am to 5.00 pm, on Thursday and Friday from 10.30 am till 8.00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Admission for adults costs $14. There are some concessions available for students and seniors (from age 65) and children under 14 years get free admission to the Institute.

Hotel Rooms in Chicago can be booked at Recommended hotels near the museum are the Renaissance Hotel Chicago or the Burnham Hotel Chicago. If you are on a lower budget, try the Congress Plaza Chicago.

Surrealist Art at the Art Institute of Chicago

This famous collection of surrealist art was assembled by Chicago philanthropists Lindy and Edwin A. Bergman. The collection includes 118 works, some of which are drawings, some paintings and some sculptures. The Art Institute of Chicago is very proud of its surrealist collection. There are many surrealist art lovers in Chicago.

Surrealist art is art that is produced as a result of artistic creativity which has been influenced by the unconscious mind.

Thirty-two artists are represented in this collection including Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Leonora Carrington and Jean Arp. A highlight of the collection is a group of thirty-eight boxes and collages by Joseph Cornell. Other highlights are Magritte's "Banquet", Picabia's "Women with Matchsticks", Ernst's "The Garden Airplane Trap" and Claude Cahun's incredibly rare and inventive "Object" (1936) which the Art Institute of Chicago was extremely pleased to acquire in 2007. The "Object" focuses on the typical surrealist fascination with sight and touch featuring a fully exposed eye mounted next to a grasping hand. A cloud-shaped piece of wood lies on the eye and dark hair gathers loosely on the orb in sharp contrast to the stiff eyelashes. The entire sculpture is attached to a piece of wood with a reference from the French national anthem. The new acquisition was deliberately and very effectively placed amongst other outstanding surrealist works of art which focus on the same theme of sight and touch.

The other works include a painting of a woman's blue eye by Magritte and there is also a very similar grasping hand called "Puericulture" by Man Ray. Through the different styles and materials used the collection allows the public to see how similar yet distinctive surrealist art can be.
| visitors since 1998 || questions or information email me: webmaster(at) || We have 143 artists & 20 pieces of art in the collection. |