United States

220 East Chicago Avenue
Phone: 312.280.2660
Fax: 312.397.4095

Museum Of Contemporary Art, Chicago

As one of Chicago’s major museum buildings 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 near the historic Water Tower in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, the MCA features special exhibition spaces, naturally-lit collection galleries, a 300-seat theater, gift store, bookstore, café, and a terraced sculpture garden with a 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 six 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 building opened in July 1996. With nearly 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.

Permanent Collection

The MCA Collection provides an historical context for examining continuing developments in contemporary art. The collection includes over 5,700 works and features notable strengths in Minimalism, Postminimalism, Conceptualism, Surrealism, and artists’ books, as well as works by Chicago-based artists. Among the artists within the MCA Collection are Lee Bontecou, Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, Kerry James Marshall, and Bruce Nauman. The collection also includes works by Francis Bacon, Ann Hamilton, Alfredo Jaar, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, René Magritte, Ed Paschke, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, and Andy Warhol.


Since its founding in 1967, the MCA has earned an international reputation for presenting ground-breaking exhibitions of work by local, national, and international artists. In 1969, Christo wrapped the museum and galleries with 8,000 square feet of tarpaulin and rope in the artist’s first building wrap. In 1978, Gordon Matta-Clark sawed through the walls and floors of the museum’s new annex to create the first “ex-stallation

Exhibitions (27)

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$10 - Suggested General Admission
$6 - Students with ID and Senior Citizens
Free - MCA Members, children 12 and under, members of the military
Free - Target Free Tuesdays

Opening hours

10 am - 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday
10 am - 8 pm Tuesday
Closed Monday

Getting there

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is located at 220 East Chicago Avenue, just one block east of Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago.

Public Transportation
The MCA is located four blocks east of the Chicago Avenue rail stop on the CTA Red Line, and is easily accessible by the #10 Museum and #66 Chicago Avenue buses, as well as several Michigan Avenue bus routes.
Traveling south on North Lake Shore Drive
Take Lake Shore Drive south to the Chestnut Street exit (traffic light).
Turn right and then immediately left onto southbound Inner Lake Shore Drive.
Take Inner Lake Shore Drive south for two blocks to Chicago Avenue.
Turn right onto Chicago Avenue and go west for one block, past Fairbanks Court.
The museum will be on your immediate right side, on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Mies van der Rohe Way.
Traveling north on South Lake Shore Drive
Take Lake Shore Drive north to Chicago Avenue.
Turn left onto Chicago Avenue.
The museum will be on your immediate right side, on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Mies van der Rohe Way.
Directions from the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290)
Take the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) east until it ends and becomes Congress Parkway.
Take Congress Parkway east past the river for about one mile to Columbus Drive.
Turn left onto Columbus Drive.
Take Columbus Drive north (name changes to Fairbanks Court).
Take Fairbanks Court north until it ends at Chicago Avenue.
Turn left onto Chicago Avenue.
The museum will be on your immediate right side, on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Mies van der Rohe Way.
Directions from the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94)
Take the East Oh...+ [ Read all ]

Museum internal and external photos (4)

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In dedicating most of the first floor of its new building to education facilities, the MCA made a strong statement about its role as an educator. The museum’s commitment to engaging a broad and diverse audience is evident in the variety of exciting programs offered: adult classes and workshops, lectures, symposia, and informal talks by artists and curators, as well as imaginative children’s classes and family workshops.

Delve deeper into the MCA Collection and temporary exhibitions on a private guided tour led by one of our trained museum educators. The MCA also features special team-building creativity workshops: innovative, hands-on art activities and tours that will inspire new ways to face business challenges which can be incorporated into your event.


The MCA is grateful to its large community of supporters for helping the museum present the best in contemporary culture. Generous donations from individual members, donors, and the museum’s network of corporate, foundation, and government partners help meet fundamental needs, from staff salaries to building maintenance and keeping the lights on at the MCA.


The MCA engages Chicago’s corporate community through corporate memberships and sponsorship of the museum’s exhibitions and programs. Membership in the MCA’s Corporate Partners program offers Chicago companies opportunities to stimulate employees, inspire clients, and make connections with imaginative thinkers. Sponsorship of exhibition, performance, and educational programs at the MCA presents unique, tailored opportunities for companies to make a meaningful impact on Chicago’s cultural life and gain significant visibility with the MCA’s diverse audience and supporters.

Venue hire

Just steps from the Magnificent Mile and Chicago’s historic Water Tower, the Museum of Contemporary Art is the ideal venue for corporate entertaining, dramatic cocktail receptions, elegant weddings, and multimedia presentations. The MCA offers indoor and outdoor spaces accommodating up to 1,200 guests, intimate meeting rooms, and a changing array of exhibitions by today’s most important artists. Your guests will also enjoy panoramic views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan as they stroll through the MCA galleries.