The Art Institute of Chicago spruces up its decor with a Home for the Holidays theme that begins with the 20th annual Wreathing of the Lions. Featuring a performance by the Wooten Choral Ensemble, the ceremony takes place at 10:00 am on Friday, November 25 on the front steps of the museum.
At 10:30 am, guests are treated to a big surprise inside when they see eight of the Thorne Miniature Rooms decked out for the season. Renowned artists were commissioned to create pieces for the rooms which include tiny toys from Germany, diminutive delicacies from Italy, and petite plants from South Africa. In addition, a special presentation of the Americana Room from Marshall Field V’s private collection will also be on display through the holidays.
In the Impressionist galleries, Edgar Degas’s sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen awaits viewing in Gallery 201. This sculpture was first on display in 2006 as a special loan to the museum from a private collection.
After exploring the galleries, families are invited to create wreaths of their own in free family art-making workshops. The first 50 people to arrive and attend the event will receive free admission to the museum.
On December 17 and December 18, festive familes can attend the Build Your Own Gingerbread House workshop in the Millennium Park Room from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; and the Caroling Tea in the Stock Exchange Trading Room from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The workshop is $60 per family of four ($50 for members) and includes gingerbread kits, frosting, and decorating candy. The tea is $25 per person; children 12 and under $15 per person ($20 for members) and includes sandwiches and festive desserts. Drinks and kids’ “mocktails” can be purchased at the cash bar. Call 312-553-9675 for reservations to either event.
From November 25 through December 31, families can pick up a free holiday-themed self guide to the museum; participate in free art-making workshops every weekend where kids can make their own masterpiece to take home; or drop by for seasonal melodies during the daily Midday Music series. On the second night of Hanukkah, Chicago’s own Maxwell Street Klezmer Band plays songs inspired by the works of Marc Chagall. Free with museum admission, the concert will take place on December 22 at 6:00 pm in Fullerton Hall.
For general museum information, call 312-443-3600 or visit www.artinstituteofchicago.org. For information about specific lectures and family programs, call the Department of Museum Education at 312-443-3680. Exhibitions and programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. The Art Institute will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.