The Chicago Art Museum, home to the nation’s first female museum director, is closing its doors on Jan. 4, 2018, its president, Michael B. Kowalczyk, said in a statement released Tuesday.
The Chicago Institute of Art, founded in 1899, is the city’s premier art museum and the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States.
The museum, which has seen its population shrink from a peak of more than 1 million visitors in 2008 to fewer than 600 in 2018, is being closed due to “significant financial issues,” Kowyczyk said.
The institute will be replaced by a new museum at the corner of Lake and Niles avenues in the city, which Kowczyk described as “an art museum for everyone.”
Chicago Art Museums Association CEO Greg Jahn said the city is taking the opportunity to “make significant improvements” to the institution.
The art galleries in the Chicago metropolitan area are mostly operated by private individuals, not state or federal agencies, which make the art collections subject to strict curatorship.
The museums are also often funded by private donors, including private foundations.
Some of the museums that have closed are in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The closures include the Chicago Institute for the Arts, the Chicago Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
They are located along Lake Michigan, the city of Chicago’s lakefront.
The state of Illinois had no immediate comment.