I have had the great fortune of spending my third year as a graduate student in the WUDPAC program at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago was originally founded in 1879 as both a school and museum. The museum's permanent location was established in 1893 in a building constructed on what is now recognized as the original homelands of the Council of Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. A land acknowledgement ceremony took place shortly after I began my internship, which celebrated these native tribes and a new partnership between the Art Institute and the American Indian Center.
The institute's mission statement speaks to its encyclopedic nature and its history as both a school and museum: "The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world's diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession's highest ethical standards and practices." It is a large institution with a collection of nearly 300,000 objects in the permanent collection as well as a research library. The collection is very wide ranging with objects from all over the world, dating from antiquities to contemporary.