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The Art Institute of Chicago

Digital Collection Archive

There is something really powerful about going to museums and seeing art in person, but quarantine is proof that the access to learning about art and art history can become available to us wherever there is internet. Another amazing place to find awe and discovery of art collection is in the digital archive of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The institution itself has an unparalleled collection of art throughout many important movements in history. Thousands of these works are available to us all online, as we scroll through pages of the art that wrote history around the world (searchable by keyword, artist, or reference). Not only can you find the beautifully documented works of art for the screen, but endless educational resources. This is an online wonderland to learn about art from research on art and preservation, to descriptions of your favorite works, to the Art Institute Blog. Many works even include the audio stops that you could listen to with a guide if you were physically standing in front of the work in the museum. As you recreate the experience of touring great works, these audio-stop, voiced by the institute’s art historians, tell the story of the work and its relation to the artist’s overall career and the museum specifically.

To describe the online access to the Art Institute of Chicago’s vast collection, one word cannot be left out: generous. They share with their audience all that they can, from the return to famed masterpieces to the discovery of art history’s quiet treasures. So for now, we can swim in the knowledge of all that is offered online by the Art Institute. One day, we will return to the physical museum experience . Maybe we will even stand in front of Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, gawking at the individual dots of paint that make up the masterpiece we know. But until then, why not soak up the great amounts of art and information available in the Art Institute of Chicago collection?

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