I recently learned about this beautiful fountain while volunteering with the Alliance for the Great Lakes.
This is the Fountain of the Great Lakes by Lorado Taft. It is located in the Stanley McCormick Memorial Court on the south side of the Art Institute. The five women represent each of the five Great Lakes and the fountain shows the flow of water between the lakes from Lake Superior down to Lakes Michigan and Huron and then to Lakes Erie and Ontario.
Below the photo are two water sprites that appear on either side of the main fountain.