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Arts Roundup: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition

By Laura M. Browning in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 26, 2010 7:00PM

Whether you love spending time with your family or need to get them out of the house (or both), today’s a great day to take (or send) your out-of-town visitors to one of Chicago’s museums. There are some great exhibits showing, so skip Black Friday and work off your tryptophan hangover with some culture. While we think the crowds will be a lot more pleasant at the Art Institute than the mall, this is a busy day for museums, so plan accordingly.

Art Institute of Chicago

Looking After Louis Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings, and Fragments. Three photographers' takes on the architecture and ornamental decoration of Louis Sullivan.

Ballplayers, Gods, and Rainmaker Kings: Masterpieces from Ancient Mexico. Major works of Pre-Columbian art, this exhibit showcases work from 900 B.C. to A.D. 1521.

Gray Collection: Seven Centuries of Art. Works from Chicago collectors Richard and Mary Lackritz Gray, this exhibit includes works on paper by such masters as Tiepolo, Rubens, and Van Gogh, and Picasso.

111 South Michigan Ave.
Open 10:30am - 8:00pm Friday
Open 10:30am - 5:00pm Saturday
Non-resident adult admission: $18
Chicago resident adult admission: $16

Chicago Architecture Foundation
Brave the cold and see Chicago on foot with some help from the Chicago Architectural Foundation. Walking tours start at 10am both Friday and Saturday and include Modern Skyscrapers and Historic Downtown.

Friday tours

Saturday tours

224 South Michigan Ave.
Walking tours are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free to members.

Chicago Art Loop Tour
Impress your folks and take them on a tour of your own. You can print out the PDF and even download an audio tour.

Chicago Children’s Museum
Got kids in tow? Time to head out to Navy Pier.

Mexico: Festival of Toys. More than 600 toys, dolls, and musical instruments are on display.

Open 10am - 5pm Friday and Saturday
Admission is free to all.

Field Museum

Gold. Learn about gold -- and see a lot of it -- from mine to jewelry.

Climate Change (closes November 28). We suggest taking your climate change-skeptic relatives to learn why climate change is real and why it matters.

1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
All Access Pass
Non-resident adults: $29
Resident adults: $25
Basic Admission
Non-resident adults: $15
Resident adults: $13

DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 E. 56th Pl.
Open 10am - 5pm Friday and Saturday
Chicago adult residents: $8
Non-resident adults: $10

Tracing the Civil Rights Movement 1848 to 1968. This exhibit draws from the museum's permanent collection and includes historic photographs, Jim Crow-era artifacts, and other civil rights artifacts.

Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services. More than 100 objects from the museum's permanent collection tell the long, rich history of African-Americans serving in the armed forces.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Ave.
Open 10am - 5pm Friday and Saturday
General admission: $12

Luc Tuymans. Don't let the muted colors fool you, Tuymans' paintings are anything but passive.

Without You I'm Nothing: Art and Its Audience. This exhibit explores the space between art and its audience with artworks drawn from the MCA's permanent collection.

National Museum of Mexican Art

Vida breve: Day of the Dead 2010. The museum's annual Day of the Dead exhibit includes paintings, prints, and the typical ofrendas decorated by established artists and local community members.

1852 West 19th St.
Open 10am - 5pm Friday and Saturday
Admission is free to all.

Museum of Science and Industry

Jim Henson’s Fantastic World. Muppets take museum! The exhibit includes more than 100 works of original art, like paintings and storyboards.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. A 45-foot Christmas tree is surrounded by 50 smaller ones, each decorated by volunteers from Chicago's various ethnic communities.

57th St. and Lake Shore Drive
Open 9:30 - 4pm Thanksgiving Day
Open 9:30 - 5:30 Friday and Saturday

Renaissance Society

Rebecca Warren. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2006, Warren's sculptures on view here include some of her more well-known abstracted female figures.

You can also watch a video of Rebecca Warren talking to students about her sculpture.

Cobb Hall 418, 5811 South Ellis Ave.
Open Friday 10am - 5pm
Open Saturday 12pm - 5pm
Admission is free to all.

Smart Museum
Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan. The exhibit includes 13 objects from the cave temples of Xiangtangshan, plus a multimedia recreation of one of the caves.

5550 S. Greenwood Ave.
Open Friday 10am - 4pm
Open Saturday 11am - 5pm
Admission is free to all.