The Art Institute of Chicago

This was voted the top U.S. museum for 2013 on TripAdvisor, but that's not why you should visit. Go because of its encyclopedic collections, particularly of Impressionist, Postimpressionist and American art. It seems as if just about every painting studied in art history class is here: Georges Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1884," Monet's "Water Lilies," Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks," Grant Wood's "American Gothic." In 2009, the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing opened, making the Art Institute the second-largest art museum in the country. The wing's top floor, which houses its Picassos and Matisses, is being renovated and will reopen in April. (Those masterpieces are on loan through Feb. 16 to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, which also recently opened a Renzo Piano Pavilion.) Upcoming: "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938," June 24-Oct. 13. Info:
Richard Derk / Los Angeles Times
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