At the University of Chicago, arts is inquiry. We paint and perform the same way we test and interpret—with an intellectual passion that enhances understanding and expands horizons. Our students and faculty practice art in independent work, classrooms, and student groups; perform and exhibit at campus galleries and professional venues; and engage with artists and institutions throughout the city. As scholarly endeavor, a social outlet, cultural endeavor, or professional specialization, the arts at UChicago know no bounds.

This is UChicago

UChicago Breakthrough

UChicago Breakthrough
In a Hyde Park tavern in 1955, combining theater games and theories of Bertolt Brecht, a group of mostly UChicago students and alumni created a new form of comedic theater, widely known today as “improv.”
Explore UChicago Arts »

Francisco Trigueros and Josiah Zayner, UChicago PhD candidates, created a new instrument that merges music and biology called the Chromochord.
Learn more about the invention of the Chromochord »

Court Theatre

A professional theater company at the University, Court Theatre was named “the most consistently excellent theater company in America” by the Wall Street Journal.
Read about artistic director Charles Newell’s Fichandler award »
Explore Court Theatre »

Adama Wiltshire

The Smart Museum of Art, a leading academic museum, collaborates with art scholars and serves as a rich resource for the campus and art communities. Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture examines how operatic characters and stories were represented across Chinese visual culture, from scroll paintings to popular prints.
Learn more about Performing Images »
Explore the Smart Museum »

Allison Bechdel

The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry is a forum for experimental collaborations between artists and scholars. As part of its efforts to drive innovation at the intersection of scholarship and artistic practice, the center brings artists and scholars to campus, including renowned cartoonist Allison Bechdel (pictured), one of the center’s first Mellon Residential Fellows.
Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry »

Chicago Booth’s renowned art collection is composed of contemporary works in a variety of mediums and is displayed throughout the Harper Center on campus.
Read more about Chicago Booth art »
Explore the collection »

Rae Gray, Class of 2014, sees her liberal arts education in the College as a solid foundation for acting, a career that has already taken her to the Steppenwolf and Goodman theaters.
Read about Gray’s recent role in Slowgirl »

One of Chicago’s oldest and most distinguished concert series, the UChicago Presents brings world-renowned classical and jazz musicians to campus and the city, including Grammy-winning ensembles in residence Pacifica Quartet (pictured) and eighth blackbird.
Explore the concert series »

The Hack Arts Lab is a makerspace-styled workshop initiated by assistant professor Jason Salavon. It provides University affiliates access to 3-D printers, a laser cutter, and microcontroller workbenches for creative projects or teaching endeavors, all at a minimal cost.
Read more about the Hack Arts Lab’s first year »
Explore the Hack Arts Lab »

  • By the
    Numbers

  • Nearly 20,000 titles now available at the Film Studies Center

    Nearly 20,000 titles now available at the Film Studies Center

    The Film Studies Center presents screenings and lectures with influential filmmakers and scholars and has a rich catalog of films available for viewing and scholarship.

  • 100 tons of bronze in Rockefeller Chapel’s carillon, the largest in the world

    100 tons of bronze in Rockefeller Chapel’s carillon, the largest in the world

    Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon

    With 72 bells weighing in at 100 tons, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon is the largest musical instrument ever built. Rockefeller Chapel also boasts an impressive Skinner organ consisting of 8,565 pipes in 132 ranks.

  • 100+ concerts presented each year by the Department of Music

    100+ concerts each year presented by the Department of Music

    Concert

    The Department of Music’s performance program encompasses choirs, orchestras, jazz ensembles, a South Asian Vocal ensemble, a Middle East music ensemble, an early music ensemble, a large wind ensemble, and programs in chamber music, piano, and voice.

  • 500+ students contribute to 50+ University Theater shows each year

    500+ students contribute to 50+ University Theater shows each year

    University Theater

    The largest student-run organization at the University, University Theater mounts more than 30 productions a year.

  • Nearly 350 declared arts students

    Nearly 350 declared arts students

    The University of Chicago offers PhD programs in Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and Music, as well as a Masters program in Fine Arts. The College offers undergraduate programs in Theater and Performance Studies and all of the previously mentioned fields.

  • More than 30,000 square feet of gallery space across campus

    More than 30,000 square feet of gallery space across campus

    Visiting art pieces, those a part of the University collection, or those by students and faculty are displayed in five galleries across campus: the Renaissance Society, Smart Museum, Logan Center, Arts Incubator, and Special Collections Research Center.

  • Nearly 300 films screened at Doc Films each year

    Nearly 300 films screened at Doc Films each year

    Doc Films

    The country’s oldest student-run film society, Doc Films screens films almost every night of the year and has hosted such luminary directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, and John Ford.

  • 100+ UChicago arts organizations

    100+ UChicago arts organizations

    Arts

    From professional art events to student-run productions to unique collaborations with city arts entities, there are many ways to engage.

  • Over 4,400 pieces from 7 ancient cultures at the Oriental Institute Museum

    Over 4,400 pieces from 7 ancient cultures at the Oriental Institute Museum

    Oriental Institute

    A research organization devoted to studying the ancient Near East, the Oriental Institute includes a world-renowned museum that displays from its collection of approximately 300,000 objects recovered by its researchers’ excavations. Permanent galleries showcase ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the ancient site of Megiddo.

  • 3 writers-in-residence and 12 visiting writers

    3 writers-in-residence and 12 visiting writers

    Jhumpa Lahiri

    The Committee on Creative Writing has brought many accomplished authors to the University through the Dedmon, Vare, and Kestnbaum Writer-in-Residence programs. Past writers have included James Fallows, Walter Kirn, Jhumpa Lahiri (pictured), George Saunders, Stuart Dybek, and Art Spiegelman.