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Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

1155 East 58th Street

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This university-affiliated museum showcases the art and archaeology of the ancient Near East. Many objects in its permanent collection have been recovered through Institute excavations. The art represents the ancient civilizations in Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and Megiddo.

Highlights of the permanent collection include a colossal bull head sculpture from Iran, the mummy and coffin of Meresamun from Egypt, a sculpture of a mother nursing from Cyprus, a Canaanite statuette from Palestine, and a striding lion mosaic from Mesopotamia.

The institute hosts a number of special exhibitions each year. In the past those have included art from the vanished kingdoms of the Nile, treasures from the royal tombs of Ur, a century of Palestinian clothing, and art from daily life in the medieval Persian city of Rayy.

Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (accessible by CTA train, bus, and Metra)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Hours: Wednesday 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday
  • Admission: $7 (suggested donation), children under 12 $4 (suggested donation)
  • Tours: Community group guided tours for 10 to 120 people are available. Fees vary based on the size of the group
  • Membership: Annual individual membership is $50. This includes a free subscription to the members’ newsletter; special invitations to such Institute programs as lectures, special events, and the annual dinner; discounts on classes, seminars, symposia, and workshops for adults and children; and use of the Research Archives, one of the most comprehensive libraries of ancient Near Eastern material in the United States. Multiple special discounts for membership are offered for students, educators, overseas guests, and seniors and their families. A Supporting membership ($100) earns you reciprocal admission to more than 300 other museums.