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220 East Chicago Avenue
The mission of the MCA is to be an innovative and compelling
center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and
ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social and cultural
context of the art of our time.
The Museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections and educational programs to excite, challenge and illuminate our visitors and to provide insight into the creative process.
The MCA aspires to engage a broad and diverse audience, create a sense of community and be a place for contemplation, stimulation and discussion about contemporary art and culture.
Chicago's newest major museum and one of the nation's largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, the MCA offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945. The MCA documents contemporary visual culture through painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance. Located in a new building near the historic Water Tower in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, the MCA boasts a gift store, bookstore, restaurant, 300-seat theater, and a terraced sculpture garden with a great view of Lake Michigan.
The MCA was opened as a kunsthalle in October 1967 by a group of culturally concerned Chicagoans who recognized the need for an internationally oriented forum for contemporary art in the city. Within seven years, the museum had made a commitment to building a permanent collection. In 1979, the MCA expanded into an adjacent townhouse, in the process growing to 33,000 square feet, including 11,000 square feet of exhibition space. In 1992, the MCA selected from an international field of 200 applicants Berlin-based architect Josef Paul Kleihues to design its new building and sculpture garden, his first U.S. commission. The new MCA opened July 2, 1996. With almost seven times the square footage of the museum's previous facility on Ontario Street, the MCA for the first time has space to install temporary exhibitions and works from its collection simultaneously.
The MCA's permanent collection provides an historical context for examining continuing developments in contemporary art.
The collection includes some 5,600 objects and features notable strengths in art made in Chicago, minimalism, postminimalism, conceptualism, surrealism, and artists' books. Among the artists whom the MCA has collected in depth are Alexander Calder, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman, and Robert Smithson. The collection also includes key works by Francis Bacon, Ann Hamilton, Alfredo Jaar, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, René Magritte, Ed Paschke, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, and Andy Warhol.
The MCA's galleries are open
The MCA is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day
The Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 220 E. Chicago Avenue, one block east of Michigan Avenue.
Robert Fitzpatrick, Director
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