Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, July 25

Gapers Block

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Andrew / February 15, 2005 2:53 PM

I love the Art Institute. I could easily spend all day there, and I also like popping over to the student gallery at the School.

heather / February 15, 2005 2:55 PM

The Museum of Historic Chicago Architecture...the space is as cool as the stuff and the staff. . . I've spent hours and hours in that place.

michael / February 15, 2005 3:01 PM

The cultural center's more like a gallery, right?

MCA i guess. Love the stairway. I also like the way the exhibits are arranged on the first floor. By the way did anyone attend the instalation at the old armorey (sp?-way off probably) before they tore it down to make way for the new MCA building?

Paula / February 15, 2005 3:10 PM

I love the MCA and Intuit for art (the stranger and more far-out, the better) but if you can ever be at the Shedd Aquarium very early on a weekday when it isn't crowded there's something particularly soothing and otherworldly about the dark galleries with the glow-y light from the tanks and the silently swimming fish.

robin.. / February 15, 2005 3:45 PM

museum of surgical sciences! museum of surgical sciences!

Tim / February 15, 2005 3:50 PM

The Art Institute. But the Oriental Institute in Hyde Park is pretty incredible, I think it is run by the Illuminati, if the depth and quality of the collection is any indication.

L / February 15, 2005 3:50 PM

The Field Museum is my favorite by far. But then, I'm a geography dork.

amyc / February 15, 2005 4:01 PM

I miss the Terra. It was nice.

Thurston / February 15, 2005 4:07 PM

The Mexican Fine Arts Museum is really terrific. The Art Institute is worfully lacking for art from Latin America (their rather paltry temporary Peruvian exhibit aside), and this Pilsen gem provides a good alternative.

Joe / February 15, 2005 4:13 PM

Museum of Science and Industry! Come on, the TI's running the old physics exhibits upstairs are worth it as an archeological study of old museum PC's! And they still have the old VR exhibit running showing you what 3D USED to be like.

If you're a geek and want to see old, crusty technology, the MSI is for you.

jima / February 15, 2005 4:23 PM

I guess Intuit is the one I visit most often, mainly for the talks/lectures/music shows they have there. But the MCA (or MoCA, as our friend David calls it) is a close runner-up. I love the stairway, too.

Jason / February 15, 2005 4:43 PM

My favorite is the Adler Planetarium - a museum of sorts I suppose. Combine the subject matter and the planetarium's location, out in a world by itself, and no other part of the city makes me feel so small yet so significant.

susan / February 15, 2005 5:12 PM

I love the Shedd Aquarium, especially the big green eel in the round tank.

Leelah / February 15, 2005 5:12 PM

Count me in for the Art Institute.

Best exhibit ever: Ivan Albright.

Maggie / February 15, 2005 5:16 PM

Do we count zoos in this? If we do, I love Lincoln Park Zoo with all of my heart and soul. If not, I'm a sucker for the Art Institute. Both remind me of being a kid, and being SO excited about 'going downtown.'

eep / February 15, 2005 7:05 PM

It's all about the Field for me. I've loved it ever since I was a kid, and I never get bored with it.

Christy / February 15, 2005 7:11 PM

The Museum of Contemporary Photography at 600 S. Michigan is outstanding.

I wanted to say the Art Institute because I visit it often, but they seem embarrassed to exhibit photography. They have their niche.

Andrew / February 15, 2005 7:20 PM

I'd say zoos and the Cultural Center count, yeah.

tony / February 15, 2005 8:20 PM

Field Museum, by a longshot. I did an internship there back in high school, and volunteered there for a couple of summers. Love the exhibits, but I love playing in the storage even more.

c / February 15, 2005 8:20 PM


Alex / February 15, 2005 9:52 PM

For me, definitely the AIC. Love, love, love it.

And Leelah, I completely agree. The Albright show kicked ass! The '89 Warhol show was pretty fun, too. The recent Van Gogh/Gauguin show, however, was a total let down.

T.C. / February 15, 2005 10:25 PM

Museum of Holography Chicago, 1134 W Washington Blvd. A low budget treat. Holograms of MJ, sharks and bikini girls. Cat smell. But best is the trippy caretaker lady with the canned but enthusiastic nature-of-the-universe speech.

You've seen the brown cultural guide sign for years. Now go.

paul / February 16, 2005 12:05 AM

I still love the Field even though they've eliminated free days with their confusing 'discount days' policy. I spent some time working there smashing up the old fossil hall cases (asbestos removal job) and loved walking around there every lunch hour.

I went to the Notebaert Nature Museum last weekend - the free-flying butterflies are very cool, but unless you're a kid, the rest of the exhibits aren't realy worth the admission.

I hate the fact that many museums are becoming money-making ventures rather than the halls of wonderful things that they used to be. How many families are being priced out of choosing a museum as an outing? This city could use a little more of the 'suggested' admission policy that some NY museums still have.

Joe / February 16, 2005 8:18 AM

Mine is the Field Museum, but I have been questioning that lately. WTF is up with
an exhibit:

"Jacqueline Kennedy: White House Years"

at the Field Museum of NATURAL HISTORY?

My favorite used to be the Museum of Science and Industry, but I got mad at them when they wouldn't let me ride on the U-505 when they moved it for restoration a few years back. I even offered to make a sizeable charitable donation for allowing me to ride on it. How many people can say they actually got to ride on a Nazi Uboat?

Mike / February 16, 2005 8:40 AM

Has anyone been to the Museum of Modern Broadcasting (I think that's the correct name) on Kinzie and State? How is it?

Michael / February 16, 2005 9:24 AM

Museum of Science & Industry and the Lincoln Park Zoo are always a lot of fun. But the Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the more underrated city attractions.

eep / February 16, 2005 9:34 AM

Mike-- I went to the Museum of Broadcast Communications once for a lecture, and I've always meant to go back. They had the creators of Freaks and Geeks come in and do a Q&A session, and then aired the episodes NBC didn't feel were worthy of airtime. I've always admired the museum for doing that, for showcasing something they felt was worthwhile even if the networks and the public really didn't. Ever since then I've wanted to go back in and check out their archives, but I haven't had a chance. What I saw was really great, though.

Emerson Dameron / February 16, 2005 9:36 AM

The Museum of Surgical Science. Take a bad date there and act like you're on Cloud 9. Anyone who hangs on after that deserves further consideration.

daruma / February 16, 2005 9:36 AM

I'm always surprised by the sheer volume of people who love the Field; it always seemed a little stuffy to me. I vote Chicago Historical Society, Art Institute, and Shedd Aquarium.

Brandy / February 16, 2005 10:45 AM

I'm going to count the Chicago Cultural Center as a museum. It gets me vote.

Brandy / February 16, 2005 10:47 AM

er, MY vote - I'm soundin' like a pirate

Waleeta / February 16, 2005 11:19 AM

Oriental Institute is so great for me because I'm Assyrian, and they have more assyrian stuff than the Field Museum.

Art Institute is also tied for first - I love going there alone, so no one rushes me through anything - although I do wish they did more photography.

Cinnamon / February 16, 2005 11:30 AM

I have to go with the Art Institute. I love that there is so much stuff in there that my brain gets full before I can see it all in one visit. I have to say that I've been very disappointed with the Museum of Science and Industry and the Chicago Historical Society. Partly because Center Of Science and Industry and the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio are both far better than either one of these places and that just seems very wrong to me.

e_five / February 16, 2005 11:51 AM

I'm with pirate Brandy. Cultural Center gets me vote. I saw a Henry Darger exhibit there a few years ago that blew me away. Also like the location and the Tiffany dome.

Emily / February 16, 2005 12:46 PM

The museums at various Universities and Colleges here are totally underutilized treasures. The Smart at U of C has consistently interesting exhibits and collaborations. The Block Museum up at Northwestern has two great exhibits up now on William Morris/the Arts and Crafts Movement. And, if you love Renaissance/religious art, I would suggest visiting the Martin D'Arcy Museum up at Loyola, which has a great collection.

BG / February 16, 2005 1:42 PM

The Billy Goat Pub in the basement of the Wrigley Building.

Everything in that place (including the patrons) dates from the late Triassic era.

da<3 / February 16, 2005 2:53 PM

Michael, yes i was at the armory installation...that was awesome and kinda creepy. Nice way to kick off the MCA.

Natural History is so goofy nowadays with the Mcdonald fossil lab (or whatever they call it) and all that. As a kid sure the Dinos were cool...

Science & Industry rocks with it's massiveness and all the interactive exhibits and junk. That "virtual reality" section cracks me the hell up nowadays. I remember when it was oh so cool. Now it's so fisher-price. But still the kid in me votes for MSI.

Planetarium for friday night light shows on mushrooms. ;) Props to the commentator dood pointing out the dark fuzzy patch under Orion's Belt.

ann-marie / February 16, 2005 9:32 PM

Ok, I have a funny story about taking the kids to see that Van Gogh-Gauguin (@SAI) show. This is when they were 2 and 4 years old, and we knew we were pushing it by forcing the alpha-talkative 4 year old wedged into the stroller for maybe 30 minutes longer than her allotted time . Getting to the end of the exhibit, which was packed with people(always a lot of fun with a double stroller)my little alpha-girl spots a lady in a wheel chair and says excitedly "look mommy a lady in a wheel chair!!!" so, I lean over and whisper to her that that is a private thing. So, she says in her most non-indoor voice "oh PRIVATE, you mean like VIGINA!!!." yep thatís what I meant. I got some smiling looks from people. The best smile was from the lady in the wheel-chair who overheard the whole episode.

Ron / February 16, 2005 11:25 PM

International Museum of Surgical Science 1524 N Lake Shore Drive

Ron / February 16, 2005 11:27 PM

International Museum of Surgical Science 1524 N Lake Shore Drive

Esther / February 16, 2005 11:40 PM

Art Institute for me.

But the Museum of Surgical Science is pretty darn cool, too.

Michael / February 17, 2005 8:47 AM

For those lamenting the lack of more photography at the Art Institute...
As I understand it, the new wing which is currently under construction will include a larger and higher profile photography gallery, as opposed to the current location in the basement. Apparently, their new president who took over this year pushed for it.

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