Antoine Pevsner: Construction in Space and in the Third and Fourth Dimensions (installed 1964); photo by Tom Rossiter.

Public art at the University of Chicago makes our campus a truly unique destination, even in the midst of a city long renowned for its collections. With unexpected and arresting sculptures tucked around corners and in buildings, public art creates countless moments for spontaneous community building and conversation. It extends the intellectual life of our university beyond classrooms, libraries, and labs, and into the everyday spaces that shape our experiences.

As you walk across campus, you’ll move through decades upon decades of art and University history, sharing in each sculpture’s rich past by touching, embracing, and continuously rediscovering their stunning details and visual impact. Students, staff, faculty, and visitors alike participate anew in the life of our public art each time they pass by—each time they find themselves passing slowly or not at all, compelled to stop and to think.

Our public art challenges, fascinates, and perplexes; it turns common spaces into communal places where people gather to experience the life of the mind and the life of the senses. Some of the most hotly-debated acquisitions have now become cherished sites for engaging with the object world and the built environment, like Henry Moore’s Nuclear Energy, one of the most discussed and admired sculptures on campus.

Join us and see for yourself the intricacies of Giuseppe Penone’s Ideas of Stone, or the mind-bending geometry of Antoine Pevsner’s Construction in Space and in the Third and Fourth Dimensions.

Art in Public Spaces is an initiative of the Smart Museum of Art.


Is there a hidden political message in the shadow of a University of Chicago sculpture?
For the WTTW series Chicago Mysteries, Geoffrey Baer interviews artist Virginio Ferrari about the legends behind his sculpture Dialogo.
April 17, 2024

Art in Bloom
An endless run time digital artwork from the interdisciplinary collective teamLab joins the collection of the Smart Museum of Art, thanks to a partnership with the Physical Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago.
May 8, 2023

Clouds Over Lake Michigan Joins UChicago’s Collection of Public Art
Thanks to a generous gift of Cboe Global Markets, Ruth Duckworth’s “majestic” 1976 wall sculpture will find a new home at the heart of the University of Chicago campus.
February 21, 2023

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