John Singer Sargent & Chicago's Gilded Age Exhibition @ Art Institute of Chicago

  • August 29, 2018
  • Chicago
  • 4


  • This option includes admission to the Art Institute, admission to the Singer exhibition, and a 45-minute seated slide lecture featuring the Singer exhibition. Member ($83) plus Guest ($98) will cost a total of $181. Registration deadline: August 14
  • This option does not include admission to the Art Institute, the Sargent Exhibition, and the special lecture. Member ($45) plus Guest ($55) will cost a total of $100. Registration deadline: August 26

    TO ADD YOUR GUEST: click on the "ADD GUEST" button at the bottom of the data collection form and enter the guest information as indicated.

    Please note: Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline if space is available. Check with the trip organizer.

Estimated Trip Duration:
Oakwood West: 6:30 AM - 6:50 PM
Capitol Lakes: 7:00 AM - 6:30 PM
East Towne Sears: 7:20 AM - 6:15 PM

Registration Fee includes Badger Bus Charter Service with Wi-Fi.

Lunch is not included.

Registration Deadline: August 14

Note: If you cancel after that date, there will be no refund.
Registration is closed

               La Carmencita                                The Fountain, Villa Torlonia,  Frascati,  Italy             

Registration is now closed for the main registration (we had to give a non-refundable deposit to the Art Institute two weeks in advance of the trip so we needed an accurate count by August 14).  However the Bus Only Independent Study Option is available through August 26.  See below for further details.

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was the most sought-after portraitist of his generation, creating powerful, striking likenesses of his sitters. Although he is best known for his portraits, Sargent excelled in a variety of genres and media, including landscapes, watercolors, and murals. This exhibition presents the full range of Sargent’s talents, surveying his touchpoints to Chicago while also illuminating the city’s vibrant art scene.

Sargent first showed at the Art Institute—at the time located at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street—in 1890, the year Chicago officially became the nation’s “second city” in terms of population. Among his paintings on view was La Carmencita, a commanding portrait of a Spanish dancer that is at once old and new—a tribute to Old Master painting that is also an Impressionist exploration of color and brushwork. The composition drew crowds of visitors to the museum, helping to put Chicago on the map as a recognized center for contemporary art and culture.

                                        Mrs. Hugh Hamm                                    Portrait of a Boy

From July 1 through September 30, the Art Institute of Chicago will present an exhibition of American portraitist John Singer Sargent with a focus on his numerous Chicago connections. Featuring nearly 100 objects from the Art Institute’s collection, private collections, and public institutions, John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age examines Sargent’s impressive breadth of artistic practice and the network of associations among the artist, his patrons, his creative circle, and the city. Through the lens of Sargent’s work, this exhibition explores the cultural ambitions of Chicagoans to shape the city into a center of art, the development of an international profile for American artists, and the interplay of traditionalism and modernism at the turn of the 20th century.

      Street in Venice

The registration fee ($83 for PLATO members and $98 for PLATO guests) includes admission to the Art Institute, special admission charge for the Singer exhibition, and a 45-minute seated slide lecture on the Singer exhibition.

To learn more about the Singer exhibition, go to John Singer Sargent & Chicago's Gilded Age.

We will be at the Art Institute for five hours which will give you time for lunch and see works in the permanent collection and other exhibitions. 

Other exhibitions on display during our visit include:

Charles White: A Retrospective

Georg Jensen: Scandinavian Design for Living

Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute

Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago, 1950–1980

Helen Frankenthaler Prints: The Romance of a New Medium

Judy Ledgerwood: Chromatic Patterns for the Art Institute of Chicago

Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design

The Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Arms, and Armor

Click for Museum Map

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Bus Only Independent Study Option

We are also offering the trip as Bus Only Option.  This option does not include admission to the Art Institute, the Sargent exhibition, or the special lecture. 


We are offering the Bus Only Option because many PLATO members are also members of the Art Institute of Chicago and admission to the museum and the Sargent exhibition is free to Art Institute members.  Or if you missed the deadline for the main registration,  you can choose this option and purchase your museum admission ticket at the door.  Please note:  if you choose the bus only option, you will not be able to attend the 45-minute seated Sargent lecture as that is a special lecture only for PLATO members and guests paying for the complete package.


And if you simply want to explore downtown Chicago on your own without going to the Art Institute, you can also choose the bus only option.  The bus will only make one stop – at the Art Institute.

The fee for PLATO Members for the Bus Only Option is $45 and for Guests it is $55.


Lunch is on your own.

Click for Museum Dining Options

If you want to eat at a nearby restaurant, here are some suggestions:

Where to Eat Near The Art Institute of Chicago

Restaurants near The Art Institute of Chicago from TripAdvisor

Best Restaurants Near Art Institute from Yelp

Restaurants near Art Institute from OpenTable

Restaurants near Art Institute from UrbanSpoon


Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave.

– Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the journey.

Leave Madison

6:20 AM     Bus arrives at Oakwood for boarding

6:30 AM     Departs Oakwood

7:00 AM     Arrive Capitol Lakes for boarding

7:20 AM     Arrive East Towne Sears for boarding.

7:30 AM     Depart for Chicago                                     


10:30 AM     Arrive Art Institute

11:15-Noon  Seated slide lecture featuring the Sargent Exhibition

3:15 PM      Begin boarding for return trip

3:30 PM      Depart for Madison

Return to Madison (Estimate)

6:15 PM        Arrive at East Towne Sears

6:30 PM        Arrive at Capitol Lakes

6:50 PM        Arrive at Oakwood Village West

Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.

Non-Member Policy: Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline date of August 14 if seats are available. Check with trip organizer).  Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.

For further information:  contact Sargent Exhibition Trip Organizers: Bob Shaw at and 608-255-3486 or Bob Blitzke at and 608-271-7741.  

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For more info about PLATO contact:

PLATO Office Operations, ATTN: Edie or Louise
c/o UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715

Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

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