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The Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for the fine arts in 1879, a critical era in the history of Chicago as civic energies were devoted to rebuilding the metropolis that had been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871. The Art Institute found its permanent home in 1893, when it moved into a building constructed on what is recognized today as the traditional homelands of the Council of Three Fires—the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. Built jointly with the city of Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Adams Street, that building—its entry flanked by the two famous bronze lions—remains the “front door” of the museum even today.
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