My Journey Through the Art Institute of Chicago

My Journey Through the Art Institute of Chicago

Photo by Rob Hart

As a student at the University of Chicago, one of the many perks of our campus is the proximity to the Art Institute of Chicago — a world-renowned museum that houses some of the most breathtaking masterpieces of the past and present. As part of the University of Chicago community, we are fortunate to have access to special art tours that are held a few times per quarter, exclusively for us.

Photo by Rob Hart

On one such tour, led by a UChicago PhD student studying computational neuroscience, we were treated to a journey through the contemporary art collection, and it was quite intellectually stimulating. Our guide brought a unique perspective to the art, drawing parallels between the pieces and the world of computational neuroscience. It was fascinating to see how the seemingly disparate fields of art and science could intersect in such a profound way.

One of the standout pieces of the tour was René Magritte’s “The Tune and Also the Words.” This painting, with its dreamlike imagery and surrealist style, caused us to question the relationship between reality and perception. It’s not hard to see how this type of thought-provoking and challenging art can be connected to the field of technology and business. We constantly strive to challenge our assumptions and think in new ways, just like the artist in this painting.

The Tune and Also the Words by René Magritte | Photo by Rob Hart

Another striking piece we saw was “On the Threshold of Liberty,” also by Magritte. This painting features a figure in a suit, standing in front of a painting of a landscape, which is a commentary on the idea of freedom and the power of the mind. This painting serves as a reminder that true freedom is a state of mind and is not limited by the boundaries of the physical world. In the same way, the Chicago Approach encourages its students to break free from conventional thinking and explore new possibilities using data.

We also had the opportunity to see some classics of the Impressionist period, such as Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” and Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies.” These paintings are not only aesthetically pleasing but also showcase the innovation and experimentation of the artists and their break from traditional forms. The emphasis on creativity and experimentation at the Art Institute of Chicago is akin to the culture at Chicago Booth, where we are encouraged to carve our own path and challenge the status quo.

Water Lilies by Claude Monet | Photo by David Fisch

Another painting that stood out during the tour was “Stamford after Brunch” by John Currin. This painting captured the viewer’s attention with its striking use of colors, brushstrokes, and composition. It was interesting to see how the artist has used these elements to create a sense of depth and movement in the painting.

Stamford after Brunch by John Currin | Photo by Rob Hart

The art tour at the Art Institute of Chicago was a truly enlightening experience. Chicago Booth values this kind of interdisciplinary thinking, and the tour reinforced the idea that the opportunities for learning and growth at Chicago Booth are truly limitless. If you’re a prospective student, I highly recommend taking one of these tours when you’re in town visiting campus – it will be an experience you will cherish.

Photo by David Fisch