The Smart Museum of the University of Chicago
One problem with world-class museums is that they are tourist destinations and crammed with people. The Smart Museum has an exquisite small contemporary collection including a Nancy Spero, a Sylvia Sleigh and H.C. Westermann’s illustrated letters. Asian and European objects, drawings, prints and paintings, modern American and European works and traveling exhibitions are their forte. There is usually almost no one around; you can hear yourself think as you contemplate the work. A tiny bookstore/coffee bar with a case full of jewelry (no pressure from museum merchandising) sits across the foyer from a huge abstracted black-and-white landscape.
5550 South Greenwood
Best of Chicago 2010