Chicago’s museums and cultural venues reflect the peculiar history of the city which, from the late 19th century, progressively evolved from a “materialistic” metropolis devoted primarily to commerce into one of the most lively and cosmopolitan cultural centers in the United States. Most of Chicago’s museums, cultural venues, and art schools are located in two areas, both facing the Lake Michigan: that extending, from north to south, from Lincoln Park to Millenium Park in Central Chicago and the Hyde Park neighborhood on the city’s South Side. The many cultural institutions of Chicago – including the famous Art Institute, the second largest art museum in the U.S – provide a diverse program of events of art, design, architecture, and science; including major exhibitions, and world-renowned festivals such as the new Chicago Architecture Biennial.
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