Art Institute of Chicago

European Decorative Arts
Art Institute of Chicago


The European Decorative Arts galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago display some of the most personal pieces of the institution, fondly remembered visitors who have been coming all their lives. The new galleries by wHY Architecture sought to simplify the spaces, and reduce the visual impact of the architecture while providing sequence and scaling for the pieces. The lighting supports this goal with a balance of soft wall washing, accent lighting for sparkle, and casework integration that draws the eye to the pieces while not over-dramatizing them out of the residential context for which many of the pieces were created.