The descendant of the Chicago Academy of Design, which was a school started in 1866 that in 1879 became the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
Founders of the Academy of Design were artists who wanted to provide a first-class education as well as exhibition facilities. The first quarters were destroyed in a citywide fire in 1871. In 1882, the name was changed to the Art Institute of Chicago, and the building at 111 South Michigan Avenue was erected in 1893.
It contained both a museum and a school and was finished for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has become one of the largest accredited art schools in the United States.
The museum is one of the major art museums in the world and has collections focused on European, Asian, African and American art, photography and textiles. It is especially noted for its French Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings.