When you’re in town, either for business or pleasure, there’s no shortage of activities to experience in the beautiful city of Chicago. But one spot that you have to get out of your short-term housing in Chicago to explore is the Museum of Contemporary Art. Founded in 1967, MCA is one of the world’s largest contemporary art venues. Nestled in Chicago’s Near North Side, the museum is in a convenient location near some of Chicago’s most-visited attractions. Its current location opened in 1996 and was designed by Josef Paul Kleihues and it features a signature staircase leading to an elevated ground floor, with an atrium while the full glass-walled east and west façades offer a breath-taking view of the city and Lake Michigan.
The MCA’s permanent collection contains more than 2,500 pieces that span from the 1920s to the present. Though it’s advised that you spend an entire day exploring the collections and exhibitions at MCA, if you only have a few hours to spare, here are a few things that you can’t miss:
Synonymous with contemporary art to nearly anyone, Andy Warhol produced a myriad of works throughout his life. MCA is home to Warhol’s gripping Jackie Frieze, featuring former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The piece was created in 1964 and is silkscreen on linen.
More than just a pop-culture icon thanks to Lady Gaga, Jeff Koons is known for creating modern art pieces out of stainless steel with mirror-like surfaces. His piece Rabbit is part of MCA’s permanent collection. Created in 1986, Rabbit is a balloon-like sculpture made of stainless steel.
Known for his raw, grotesque, and emotionally charged imagery, Francis Bacon made a name for himself in the contemporary art scene with his shocking pieces. His work Study for a Portrait, featuring what appears to be a distressed gentleman, has a permanent home in MCA’s collection.
Best known for her conceptual portraits, Cindy Sherman is a photographer and film director. Her works are housed in several contemporary art museums. MCA is home to her several of her pieces, the most notable in the collection being Untitled Film Still, #14.Don’t stay holed up in your short-term housing in Chicago. Even if you’re only in town for a quick trip on business, taking in the area’s cultural gems can be a welcome break from days full of meetings. Enjoy!