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Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston
(4.5/5 based on 25 reviews on the web)
The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is an art museum located on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The Block Museum was established in 1980 by Chicago art collectors Mary and Leigh B. Block (former vice president of Inland Steel Company). The original conception of the museum was modeled on the German kunsthalle tradition, with no permanent collection, and a series of changing temporary exhibits. However, the Block Museum soon began to acquire a permanent collection as the University transferred many of its art pieces to the museum.Museum buildingThe museum building was constructed in 1980 and was designed by Chicago architecture firm Loebl, Schlossman, and Hackl. The Block's outdoor sculpture garden was established in 1989. The museum building was expanded in 2000, with a design by Chicago architectural firm Lohan Associates. The 2000 expansion tripled the museum's gallery size. The museum's Pick-Laudati Auditorium is also home to the Block Cinema, a repertory film series featuring international, classic and arthouse cinema. The selection of films at Block Cinema is curated in part by students in the Northwestern University Film and Projection Society.CollectionsThe museum currently has over 4,000 pieces in its collection. The museum is particularly known for its sculpture garden as well as its collection of works on paper. Among its collections are strong holdings of works by Chicago-based artists, nineteenth-century prints and drawings and photography. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum still dedicates one third of its space to temporary and traveling exhibitions.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Museum has free admission and is at the Northwestern University. At the time of the visit, there was an exhibition of posters of the pre-revolution Iranian cinema and other photographs. Thanks for the unusual, but above all by the ability to talk to the Trustees and understand the design of a University Museum.
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  • Really interesting Iranian poster and Chinese photographer exhibits. Near the new visitor center and the beautiful campus. Well worth the trip if you are near Evanston. 
  • Great free museum on the lovely Northwestern University campus. Beautifully curated and intelligent, with an eclectic mix of exhibits. 
Google
  • Really nice small museum. The people are really kind and nice - they encourage to make a visit to museum again. They had Tseng Kwong Chi exhibition going on and an Iranian film festival inside the building.
  • Neat little museums with several small galleries. Eclectic collections are shown.
  • Very cool museum, has a cool Iranian movie poster exhibit right now.
  • If you're in the area, it's worthwhile to keep an eye on what is currently at the Block. Great way to spend an evening without spending money.
  • Free. Who doesn't like free?