Uta Staley contributes to a number of organizations that preserve and promote the arts and sciences. Within her home city of Chicago, she serves as a supporting member of the Art Institute of Chicago, a nonprofit devoted to collecting, preserving, and interpreting quality works of art from around the world.
Established as a museum and school of fine art in the late 1870s, the Art Institute of Chicago moved into a permanent home in 1893. Still headquartered in part of that original building, the Art Institute has since added a research library and gone through several major expansions to gallery and administrative spaces.
The Art Institute of Chicago’s first-ever collection consisted largely of plaster casts. Today, the museum holds more than 260,000 works of art representing the last 5,000-plus years of human artistic expression. The Art Institute is widely known for its collections of American paintings and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including 30 paintings by founder of the French Impressionism movement Claude Monet. The Art Institute also maintains expansive galleries on African-American art and on American, European, and Asian furniture and architectural styles from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century.