Defining the Art of Tomorrow at MCA Chicago

“To everyone who accepts the challenge of the untried and unproven, the museum will offer the excitement of discovery.” With those words, the founders of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) set in motion a new type of art museum for Chicago, one where new ideas were meant to be shown and tested. More than 50 years later, this phrase runs like a through line for the everchanging, of-the-moment programming and exhibitions the now world-renown museum organizes every year.

What’s On View

Filling the MCA’s galleries are the works of established artists, as well as less familiar names, in exhibitions and events that celebrate and encourage artistic pioneering. This has made the MCA a museum of firsts: It hosted the first solo US exhibitions of Dan Flavin, Frida Kahlo, and Jeff Koons. It was the first building Christo and Jean Claude wrapped. And it gave audiences early looks at artists like Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, and Otobong Nkanga.

The museum’s current offerings include entre horizontes, the first exhibition to trace the artistic and activist lines between Puerto Rico and Chicago; Rebecca Morris, a 21-year survey of one of the most formidable painters working today; the long-overdue retrospective of activist, artist, author, and educator Faith Ringgold. Diverse and provocative, they guarantee you’ll be thinking about them long after you leave.

One-stop Shop for the Best Gifts

The MCA’s platform for artists doesn’t stop at the galleries. The MCA Store, recently named one of the best gift shops ever by Condé Nast Traveler, is Chicago’s favorite place to buy the extraordinary. Choose from a vast array of carefully chosen books, design objects, jewelry, toys, and much more!

Innovative Flavors

Marisol Restaurant and Bar features an immersive environment designed by artist Chris Ofili. Both a neighborhood coffee spot and an art-filled destination for dining and drinks, Marisol is the perfect place to start or end your MCA experience. Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch the menu features innovative flavors from Chicago chef Jason Hammel—and occasionally dishes from some of Chicago’s up-and-coming chefs.

Support the Art of Today

For insider access to the museum and discounts on MCA amenities consider becoming a member. Members enjoy free unlimited admission, invites to members-only events, discounts on dining, shopping, and performances, and more while being part of a community that helps to cultivate future generations of art lovers. Memberships are available at a variety of levels with discounts available for students, out-of-towners, and those 65 and up.

Plan Your Visit

Come to the MCA and discover a space for delight and inquiry; where you can indulge multiple senses or escape for a moment and be immersed in imaginative explorations of human creativity—just steps from Michigan Avenue and Chicago’s historic Water Tower.

This article has been supplied by The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), a paid advertiser. The editorial staff of Chicago magazine had no role in this post’s preparation.