The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is one of the world's foremost contemporary art museums. It was established in 1967 and has grown to house a collection of 2,500 works of art that date from the 1920s to today. These include paintings, photographs, sculptures (some of which are displayed outside), videos and films. The museum also features a theater where various kinds of performances take place and offers changing exhibitions throughout the year. The museum's mission is to foster the creation of contemporary art and engage the public in this process through its exhibitions, collection, and performances that take place here.
Designed by architect Josef Paul Kleihues, the Museum of Contemporary Art first opened to the public in 1967 thanks to the effort of a group of art enthusiasts that included art dealers, collectors, architects, art critics, and others. The building’s key feature is the main staircase leading up to the museum’s entrance, which was inspired by the Acropolis and the Atles Museum in Berlin. The galleries were built without embellishment so the focus could solely be on the art. For a short time beginning in 1990, the museum was partly located in an old National Guard armory building that was built in 1907. This was torn down in 1993 to make way for the Kleihues building.