Mission: The Society for Contemporary Art (SCA) supports the Art Institute of Chicago by engaging the community in a dialogue about the art of our time and acquiring works that enrich the museum’s collection.

The SCA was founded at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1940 to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the art of our time. Through its lectures and events, the Society has become one of the museum’s principle vehicles for exploring new and challenging art. Monthly SCA programs provide access to an exciting roster of leading national and international artists, dealers, critics, historians, and curators, as well as visits to distinguished private collections and major art centers within the United States and abroad.

The Society has also made a tremendous impact on the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art. On an annual basis, acquisition committee members review a carefully selected group of contemporary works and present them throughout the Art Institute’s galleries. The entire membership then votes to purchase one or more objects for the museum’s permanent collection. Over the years, the SCA has acquired more than 150 works of art by distinguished artists such as Carl Andre, Lee Bontecou, Larry Clark, Tacita Dean, Nicole Eisenman, Leon Golub, Dan Graham, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Guillermo Kuitca, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Paul Sharits, Lorna Simpson, James Turrell, Martin Wong, and Christopher Wool.

Click here to order the SCA’s 75th anniversary book. The 156-page hardcover volume includes a newly commissioned essay by Barry Schwabsky, full-color illustrations of SCA acquisitions since 1940, and reprinted texts by Carter Ratcliff and Franz Schulze. The stunning book is a fitting tribute to, and document of, the SCA’s history.

Board of Directors 2019-2020

David Egeland

Vice President
Jessica Diamond

William Padnos

Fenton Booth

Stephanie Skestos Gabriele

Jacolyn Bucksbaum

Patty Sternberg

Macol Stewart Cerda

Larry Antonatos
Eszter Borvendeg
Dirk Denison
Michelle Edwards
Betty Harris
Michelle Holland
Patty McGrath
Paula Molner
Kate Neisser
Paul Rehder
Linda Usher


Jennifer Cordileone
Program Director

Jennifer Moon