Our tour is perfect for those who love art and want to learn more about Chicago’s downtown public art. The tour focuses on the major sculptural works along Dearborn Street, outside The Art Institute of Chicago, and in Grant Park. We will learn the stories of how each of these remarkable works came to be, the artists behind them, how people reacted to them, and why they still matter today. We will marvel at the variety of artworks here: some are steel, some are stone, some are modern, some are classical, some are fountains, some were immediately beloved, while others provoked controversy. We will experience all the excitement of 20th century public art on this art-full walking tour of Chicago’s downtown.
Avoid the Crowds
Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group
Written by a long-time Chicago tour guide with a Master of Arts
Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour
The Picasso, Miro's Chicago, Chagall's The Four Season, Calder's Flamingo, and Buckingham Fountain
Remote Tour Included
As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home
Chicago: Public Art in the Loop
- Daley Plaza and The Picasso - We will explore the beginnings of the modern public art movement in Chicago and the radical work of art that caused controversy and continues to provoke conversation today.
- Miró’s Chicago - While not quite as controversial as The Picasso, this sculpture had its detractors. We will discuss its long journey from conception to its arrival here.
- Chagall's The Four Seasons - We will explore this beloved artwork and the joyful artist behind it.
- Calder's Flamingo - The inventor of the mobile was also known for his monumental steel sculptures. We will examine the entire composition of this plaza but focus on its star: Flamingo.
- Edward Kemeys' The Lions - We will explore Kemeys’ best known work and why lions were often placed at the fronts of buildings.
- Lorado Taft's Fountain of the Great Lakes - We will discuss this renowned Chicagoan artist’s ladies as lakes fountain.
- Ivan Mestrovic's Bowman and Spearman - We will look at another pair of guardian figures, this time on horseback, protecting Chicago’s Grant Park.
- Buckingham Fountain - We will experience this beloved centerpiece of Grant Park and discuss how it came to be.