Michigan Avenue thrills shoppers, tourists and Cheesecake Factory-enthusiasts alike, but finding a cultural fix isn't always easy. Lucky for downtown-bound-art-junkies, the Loyola University Museum of Art ("LUMA" for acronym-lovers) is located smack-dab in the middle of the Mag Mile.
In keeping with the Jesuit University's mission, Loyola's art collection focuses on work that illuminates spiritual questions; in other words, expect lots of gorgeously-rendered (and breathtakingly gruesome) illustrations of Biblical themes.
The saint of the hour, Ignatius of Loyola, receives homage in a series of engravings that make up an exhibition called "From Soldier to Saint." A collection of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque works (dates range from 1150-1750 A.D.) makes up the much-touted Martin D'Arcy Collection; featured items include paintings by Bellini and Tintoretto along with Italian, German and Flemish sculpture, liturgical vessels, processional crosses, domestic art and architectural artifacts.
Special exhibitions have included Caravaggio: Una Monstra Impossibile. Distributed throughout the Museum's two levels, the exhibit featured true-to-scale reproductions of Caravaggio's work using high-resolution photography.
The Museum's Gift Shop sells religious artifacts and books alongside one-of-a-kind jewelry, stationery and books by local authors. Suggested price of admission is $6; $5 for seniors; free for students, children under 14 and military dependents. Best bet: Stop by on a Tuesday, when admission is free all day and the museum stays open till 8 p.m.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg
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