Art Institute of Chicago Northwestern Partnership Program

About the Partnership

Northwestern University is excited to announce its new partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago, made possible by a generous donation from Shirley Welsh Ryan (WCAS61), the wife of Chicago businessman Patrick G. Ryan (EB59, H09) and a member of the museum's Board of Trustees.

Through this partnership, undergraduate students are granted free admission to the museum, including all special exhibitions, lectures, and programs. These dynamic learning opportunities are aimed to serve a broad spectrum of audiences and designed to enhance perception and spur creativity.

Northwestern Night Thursday, January 23rd 6:00pm-8:00pm

To celebrate the new partnership, all students, faculty, and staff, including your families and guests, are invited to visit the Art Institute on Thursday, January 23rd from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin will be introducing the event with Martha Tedeschi, Deputy Director of the Art Institute and NU Alum.

For Undergraduate Students

Free transportation and dinner will be provided on a first come, first serve basis for Northwestern undergraduate students.

Getting There on Your Own

No RSVP required. Simply check in with your WildCARD at the registration table at the Michigan Avenue entrance only. Wear your Northwestern PURPLE! Please visit for a full listing of special exhibitions and to find visitor information on parking, public transportation, and dining facilities. Attend special programs and lectures, or explore the exhibitions at your leisure.

CTA Directions

For CTA directions and more information about the program please visit Northwestern’s Center for Student Involvement Facebook page

About the Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute, founded in 1879, now has approximately 300,000 works of art in its permanent collection, stewarded by eleven curatorial departments and nearly 500 employees. This collection is housed in eight buildings—nearly one million square feet—at the heart of Chicago, one block from Lake Michigan and serving as the eastern anchor of the city's downtown. In addition to displaying the permanent collection, the Art Institute hosts 30 special exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks, lectures, performances, and events every year. They have one of the finest research libraries for art and architecture in the country as well as state-of-the-art conservation facilities that ensure that the art of the past carries on well into the future.  

As a University Partner, Northwestern has access to over 400,000 print titles in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries. Processed archival collections are included in the library’s catalog and are available to all museum visitors. The wealth of information in the libraries is an invaluable resource to students, staff, and faculty of all disciplines.