Oriental Institute Museum

Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago: Hours, Address, Oriental Institute Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Oriental Institute Museum
4.5
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is a leading research center for the ancient Middle East. The museum houses some 350,000 artifacts—around 5,000 of which are on display—excavated mainly by OI archaeologists. Founded in 1919, at a time when the Middle East was called the Orient, the OI has pioneered innovative excavations and comprehensive dictionary projects that chronicle ancient civilizations. The Oriental Institute Museum aims to understand, reveal, and protect ancient Middle Eastern civilizations.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Hyde Park
If you want to get a feel for quintessential South Side Chicago, you have to make a stop in Hyde Park, one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. This historic area is home to two of the city’s most prominent cultural institutions, the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago. A stroll here will bring you past vintage and grand hotels converted into luxury apartment buildings; peaceful gardens, parks and green spaces; and ivy-adorned museums and other cultural institutions that speak to the city’s diversity and architectural beauty.
Popular mentions

4.5
552 reviews
Excellent
406
Very good
124
Average
20
Poor
2
Terrible
0

auntaugusta23
Raleigh, N.C.29 contributions
Aug 2021
If you have any interest in history and archaeology, you should include this museum on your itinerary. The Assyrian collection is incredible. The hours are limited, but it's worth the effort to plan a visit.
Written 17 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CB
Columbus, OH160 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
My husband really wanted to go to this museum while in Chicago so I went along to support. I had no idea how much I would actually enjoy this place! The level of detail put into displaying and explaining each piece is outstanding. This is not a museum for young kids but teenagers may find it of interest. I highly recommend you visit this museum!
Written 22 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Globaljoan
Hawaii540 contributions
Jun 2021
I thought this was going to be a museum filled with typical Asian art. Au contraire! Fascinating remnants and sculptures from the Mideast and early historic eras. I will go back again. They are not open every day and I would recommend tickets.
Written 12 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AV9920
19 contributions
Mar 2021
A friend familiar with the Chicago area recommended I check out The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and I’m glad a did. What a gem! The main attraction is of course the Khorsabad relief fragments from the palace of Sargon II, but there is a lot see here. I was actually surprised by how much was on display. This is a vast collection that focuses on the Middle East, which I appreciated because too often artifacts from this area are underrepresented compared to works from ancient Rome/Greece despite how rich the region is. The interior could probably use a face lift (I found it a bit too dark in places) to better showcase the works, but then again, there is only a suggested museum admission so this becomes a very affordable outing compared to other Chicago attractions. Visiting, however, does involve some planning. The museum is only open on certain days, requires timed entry (during COVID) and if you are staying downtown it is a bit of a trek (~45 mins) which requires both the use of the “L” train and bus. (Long trip, but it’s very straightforward since the bus stop is right across the street from the metro station and from the bus it is only a five block walk to the museum. It’s all spelled out on the website and easy to understand.) I had never ventured to the Hyde Park area during prior Chicago trips, but the University of Chicago has this stunning Gothic architecture on display, so do meander around a bit. And the Robie House (one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural gems) is also located a block away. I was also quite surprised to learn that Hyde Park has the highest concentration of divinity schools outside of Rome. Glad I came and would consider a return visit if I find myself in the Chicago area again.
Written 27 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,549 contributions
Oct 2020
If you are a historian who relishes ancient artifacts, you can't pass up an opportunity to visit the Oriental Institute Museum. Located at 1155 East 58th Street, at the southeast corner of 58th Street and University Avenue, east of the University Quadrangle, on the University of Chicago campus, it was founded in 1919 by professor James Henry Breasted with funds donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr. The museum opened in 1931. Open from 11 to 3 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, it contains over 350,000 artifacts, the largest collection of its kind outside the British Museum and the Louvre. Curiously, only 5,000 objects are on display. An internationally recognized research center for ancient Near Eastern or Oriental studies and archaeology museum, its collection of Near Eastern and Southwest Asian and Egyptian artifacts is one of the finest in the world. See the two glazed brick lion friezes that were once located along the main processional way into Babylon. Alexander the Great passed by these lions. So did the great Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. The museum is all about Babylon, Persepolis, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and "The Fertile Crescent," a phrase coined by Breasted to describe ancient Mesopotamia. The Mesopotamia exhibit highlights the 5,000-year history of the material culture of the region as seen in ceramics. Also see the Achaemenid clay tablets from Persepolis, which date to 500 BC and artifacts from digs in Egypt, Iran, Israel, Syria, Turkey and Iraq.
Written 22 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Deborahdear
Schuylkill Haven81 contributions
Mar 2020
Stunning Egyptian and other ancient artifacts (including mummies and King Tut) procured by previous faculty and student anthropology/Egyptology groups. Small but interesting gift shop. Free Admission (but we donated)
Written 14 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dustythoughts
Manchester, CT1,460 contributions
Nov 2019
This museum doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. It houses a fantastic collection of cultural and historical artifacts from the Cradle of Civilization: Mesopotamia, Assyria, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Nubia, Persia, etc. Everything is really well-curated, and it's clear that the staff take great pride in both the museum and in preserving the quality of the artifacts. Admission is by donation, and there's some parking available. It's right on the University of Chicago campus, so enjoy the Gothic architecture while you're in the area.
Written 31 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Navybluetravel
25 contributions
Nov 2019 • Family
What a gem in Chicago! Comprehensive and well designed exhibit. If you love history, this is the museum to visit. Definitely will go back again.
Written 8 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Claude O
172 contributions
Jan 2020
The oriental Institute of Chicago is located on 58th street and University drive, on the University of Chicago campus. It is housed in a Gothic style building. There are parking options around. There are no admission fees, however donations are recommended, and to my humble opinion, they should charge admission fees. The Oriental institute was created in 1919 by Prof. Breasted with a 50.000$ donation from J.D. Rockefeller Jr. It is a leading research center for the study of ancient civilizations(Assyrian, Egyptian ,Persian ,Mesopotamian, Nubian to name a few).
There are approximately 350,000 artifacts excavated by the oriental institute’s archeologists, arranged in different galleries, all equally intriguing, and instructive. I would nonetheless mention the Mesopotamian, Khorsabad, and the Egyptian gallery are a must-see.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

GlobeTrotting556774
28 contributions
May 2019
That's what you'll find here. Artifacts from when humans first formed societies, cities and cultures. The beginning of writing, legal systems, and religions that still echo today.. A donation-only research and museum institution part of the University of Chicago.
Written 7 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Oriental Institute Museum

Oriental Institute Museum is open:
  • Tue - Tue 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wed - Wed 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Thu - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM