Experience the Chicago Art Scene with the Barnes

The Barnes Foundation invites you to join Nancy Ireson, Chief Curator, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions, and James Claiborne, Curator of Public Programs, in ChicagoWe will gather on the afternoon of Monday, April 10th at lunch and continue to enjoy three plus days of immersive art experiences and special events on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before the VIP opening of the EXPO fair Thursday afternoon. 

In the days leading up to EXPO Chicago, our focus will be on visiting world-class private collections, blue chip and emerging artist studios, and you will be received by curators and directors of the city's top galleries and museums. Trip highlights will incorporate visits to the studios of artists who have been involved or are about to be involved in Barnes exhibitions, including Theaster Gates, Nick Cave and Bob Faust, and Brendan Fernandes.

Special events for the Barnes include a performance directed by Brendan Fernandes as well as an artist discussion with Nick Cave and Bob Faust at the Facility - their multi-disciplinary art space. Theaster Gates will personally walk us through his studio and non-profit Rebuild Foundation at Stony Island Bank and have lunch at Gate's financially backed Retreat at Currency Exchange with an opportunity to speak with leaders from the Chicago arts community. Guests will join us at meals throughout the week including Loise Bernard, Director of the Obama Presidential Center Museum and Myriam Ben Salah, Director from The Renaissance Society.

We will explore the best of Chicago's artists and private collections. We are excited to explore the practices of several local Chicago artists both established and emerging, including Michael Rakowitz and Bethany Collins. It will be a smooth transition from their studio to the homes of Jack and Sandy Guthman. One of the most recognized collections in the city, the Guthman collection will highlight many of the Chicago artists whose studios we will visit in addition to a "who's who" of blue-chip contemporary artists. We will also visit the home of Cari and Michael Sacks; Cari is the current Board Chair of the MCA Chicago. We have added two collections - Kavi and Jessica Gupta on Wednesday and Larry and Marilyn Fields as a finale on Thursday at 3pm. The Fields collection is described by many as the best in the city!

Finally, we will not miss an opportunity to visit the leading and most creative museums. Our group will be provided a private behind the scenes tour at the Art Institute of Chicago with three of their magnificent curators, and a tour of the MCA Chicago led by Senior Curator Jamillah James who will join us for lunch.

When our eyes are not being immersed with powerful art, our other senses will be treated by culinary experiences in what is one of the great food cities in the country. We are excited to experience Roister, one of Alinea's award winning restaurants. For those seeking a unique cocktail experience before calling it a night, we can visit their sister location, The Aviary, next door.  On Tuesday, we will enjoy Sepia led by Michelin starred chef Andrew Zimmerman who has earned a Michelin star every year since 2011 and is praised for his inventive American cuisine. Finally, our Wednesday dinner will be at Tzuco where Chef Carlos Gaytán will present the best of Mexico through his own vision, as infused with the French haute cuisine techniques he acquired during his practice. Chef Gaytán was the first Mexican chef to every win a Michelin star in 2013 (and 2014).

BONUS PROGRAMMING: The Barnes was invited to visit with artist Dawoud Bey at his galleries booth at EXPO. We will lead a group to EXPO at 1:45 to hear about his practice. After this special visit, we will the group to a final collector visit at the home of Larry and Marilyn Fields. For planning purposes this visit should end by 4:30pm. Finally, we can extend an invitation to anyone who would like to stay Friday night to NEO Chicago at the Peninsula hotel at 6pm to Celebrate a special art exhibition presented in partnership with Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection. While our trip ends as EXPO begins (April 13th - 16th), we have arranged VIP tickets for everyone who would like to visit EXPO.

Your Barnes contact for this trip is Katie Adams (kadams@barnesfoundation.org, 804-241-6022, cell phone). Your Artful tour contact is Tobias Welo (tobias@artfuljaunts.com, 781-707-8477, cell phone).

 Our Barnes Chicago experience is priced at $4,500 per person and includes all lunches, dinners, transportation, and gratuities during your trip. This trip is limited to 22 guests and your booking is requested by March 3rd, 2023. A minimum of 14 guests is required to operate this trip. All programming is subject to last minute changes.

For patrons convenience we have reserved a room block at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. The discounted rate starts at $399 with upgrades and extensions available. The room block will expire on Monday, March 20th. Please book your room via the following link or by calling Jennifer Bastion at 312-573-4172 or Agustina at 312-573-5180 and reference Artful Jaunts / Barnes Foundation to discuss room upgrades, including suites: reserve you room here.

No refund will be provided for cancellations within sixty days of the trip's start date. If the client has another patron to fill a spot a substitution will be allowed. After the trip has commenced, no refunds are available, even if the client does not partake in all of the trip's activities or leaves the trip early. We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance offered when booking.

Reserve Barnes Chicago


  • Art experts leading you through each private collection and artist studio
  • An in-depth tour of the major museums led by their curators
  • Art insiders will join us throughout the trip
  • Luxury accommodations and fine dining
  •  Professional transportation provided to all events

Image: Brendan Fernandes provided by studio

  • Engage with the Barnes Foundation's Nancy Ireson, Chief Curator, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions, and James Claiborne, Curator of Public Programs
  • Enjoy VIP access to major collections, including Jack and Sandy Gunthman, Cari and Michael Sachs, Janet and Craig Duchossois, and Larry and Marilyn Fields.
  • Receive a thoughtful introduction to each artist, including Brendan Fernandes, Theaster Gates, Nick Cave, Bob Faust and several local artists before every studio visit (artists subject to change).
  • Revel in luxury accommodations at The Ritz-Carlton centrally located in downtown Chicago by the Magnificent Mile.
  • Delight in flavorful local cuisine that will showcase fun, trending and award winning locations, and historic Chicago landmarks.
  • Engage with Artful's digital app streamlining the trip itinerary showcasing information about each venue, and providing recommendations for pre-trip preparation, including articles on highlighted art programming.

Image: Nick Cave: Soundsuit Invasion, Barnes Foundation

  • Accommodations at the timeless Ritz-Carlton for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night (extensions and upgrades possible). 
  • Entry to MCA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, and all other museums.
  • All lunches and dinners with alcohol included in the programming.
  • Transportation provided from Monday afternoon start through Thursday lunch.
  • All fees and gratuities, including baggage porter services.
  • Breakfast is on your own.
  • Flights to Chicago and airport transfers are NOT provided with our programming.

Image: The Rebuild Foundation in the Restored Stony Island Bank

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