The Museum was designed by architect Ambrose Richardson in a style reminiscent of the late work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. An addition to the Museum was completed in 1988. This addition, the Kinkead Pavilion, was the creation of architect Larry Booth and Associates. The building incorporates neo-Egyptian art decorative elements in an overall post-Modernist design. The museum has over 132,000 visitors annually and supports scholarship through its Giertz Education Center.
Major collections of the Museum include The Trees Collection of European and American Painting, Moore Collection of European and American Decorative Arts, The Olsen Collection of pre-Columbian Art, and examples of 20th century Art.
The Museum is a unit within the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts.