Selected Works from the MCA Collection


Thomas Houseago, Untitled, 2008. Plaster, hemp, and iron rebar; 52 × 110 × 39 in. (132.1 × 279.4 × 99.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange and restricted gift of the Collectors Forum, 2009.7.a–c. © 2008 Thomas Houseago
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago


Annually since 1975, the MCA Collectors Forum, comprised of local collectors and museum supporters, has pooled together their dues to benefit museum programs, or more recently, to purchase an artwork for the MCA Collection. Previous gifts have included works by Jeanne Dunning, Beat Streuli, Gillian Wearing, Carlos Amorales, Abraham Cruzvillegas, TJ Wilcox, and Chiho Aoshima, among many others. The Forum votes on three final selections at their annual meeting in May and the work with the most votes is then acquired into the MCA Collection.

When bringing new works into the MCA Collection the MCA always considers how the works fit with what is already owned and what kind of dialogue they have with these works. This year’s group of artists creates an interesting conversation about the role of craft and handmade objects in relationship to figurative sculpture and painting. This installment presents the work of the 2009 finalists—Amanda Ross-Ho, Thomas Houseago, and William J. O’Brien—along with other works from the MCA Collection to consider how they relate. As is custom, Thomas Houseago received the most votes and was brought into the MCA Collection.

Selected Works from the MCA Collection is curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator.