Visitors take their best Chicago photographs in front of the iconic Millennium Park sculpture called Cloud Gate (known colloquially as the Bean, for its shape). Conceived by British artist Anish Kapoor and constructed from 168 stainless steel plates with no visible seams, the polished surfaces of this 33-foot-tall sculpture reflect infinite variations of the Chicago skyline. The work's design was chosen from among more than 30 others commissioned by the city, and it was inspired by liquid mercury.
By Kaitlyn Barrett, AFAR Local Expert
How do I love The Bean, let me count the ways? The Bean (formal name: Cloud Gate) is a giant mirrored kidney bean shaped sculpture located in Millennium Park. Make sure you walk under it - the reflections are amazing. I think the Bean is best seen at sunrise. It's quiet - before the huge crowds take over. If you can time it right, you can actually see the sun rise over the lake. The Bean glows with a golden hue. Something I haven't checked off my Bean bucket list yet? Checking out the sculpture while it's covered in snow.
By Christina Saull, AFAR Ambassador
Walking home from work...
I see Chicago's famous "bean" everyday..."Luminous Field" is the park's latest exhibit.
By mina lee
The Bean in Millenium Park is a fun, photo opp. It's also a great place to catch your breath from sightseeing and to people watch.
By Ken Emery
Under "The Bean"
There have been many iconic images of Chicago's Cloud Gate, aka "The Bean." But here is one from underneath the sculpture.
The Bean and more.
Even in chilly December, walking Chicago was an adventure. Millennium Park was delightful, watching the faces change on the twin fountains and playing with photos in and around the Bean, as the Cloud Gate is affectionately called. Walk a little farther to the Chicago Institute of Arts and be sure to spend time admiring the miniature room display. If you take a photo have someone put a finger in the picture so you know it's a miniature. Simply amazing. If you are a foodie take a tour with Tastebud Tours (tastebudtours.com). Not only will you eat too much you will also get a history lesson. Stray a little and visit Lula's Cafe in Logan Square (taxi for this stop.) They have what we decided to call American fusion food and they do have their own pastry chef, Kate Neumann who will tantalize you with her wondrous, sweet creations.
Chicago: The Bean
Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millenium Park, a.k.a. The Bean, either is loved or hated. I personally love how it reflects Chicago's hard architectural edges with its smooth mirrored shape, distorting just enough to make us take a second look at what we think we see. Sure, due to its popularity the Bean gets dirty, full of finger prints, smudges, weird liquids, etc. I can't put my finger on what it is about the art installation that hold people's attention for such long periods of time. I assume it could be the primal fascination with one's reflection. Whatever it is the Bean is worth a visit. Don't let the haters steer you away from leaving a quick finger print!
Free Chicago: Cloud Gate and "The Bean"
What a fun and interactive experience. Best part? It's FREE. Whee! It's one of those places you could photograph and people watch for a long time. From Tourism Chicago: The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a "gate" to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.
By Natalie Taylor, AFAR Local Expert
Cloud Gate, the unique public art piece in the heart of Millennium Park, is a cute distraction from the busy city. The liquid mercury inspired sculpture reflects Chicago's skyline.
Chicago, IL 60601, USA