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Picture This

Entertaining guests this season? Fear not: The city’s top cultural institutions are putting on a show.

Every girl in Middlebury, Ind., learned to ride on this 1890 Oxford bicycle, on display at the Chicago History Museum.

1. Alfred Stieglitz and the 19th Century

This wide-ranging Art Institute show offers work from the permanent collection by Stieglitz, an indefatigable promoter of the art of photography. Through March 27, 111 S. Michigan Ave., 312.443.3600

2. The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great
The Field Museum displays more than 500 treasures from 5,000 years of history. Mycenaean priestesses, Athenian heroes, Spartan athletes: They’re all Greek to us, and that’s a splendid thing. Opens Nov. 25, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, 312.922.9410

3. Jefferson Pinder: Onyx Odyssey
The Hyde Park Art Center mounts an exhibition of work from this local titan, whose work explores definitions of the black figure. Opens Nov. 8, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., 773.324.5520

4. The Secret Lives of Objects
The Chicago History Museum is like an iceberg: There’s much more below the surface. This absorbing exhibition pulls a variety of objects out of storage and brings their tales to light. 1601 N. Clark St., 312.799.2162

5. Surrealism: The Conjured Life
Featuring more than 100 intriguing items, this Museum of Contemporary Art show features giants like Max Ernst and René Magritte, as well as major contemporary artists, many based in Chicago. Opens Nov. 21, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312.280.2660