In Memoriam

John C. Kern

1925-2019

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The MCA is saddened to share news of the passing of John C. Kern, a longtime supporter and Life Trustee, on January 20, 2019. John was a dedicated leader and shaped the direction of the museum over nearly five decades.

John joined the Board of Trustees in 1976, but he and his beloved wife and constant companion Anne were enthusiastic supporters of the museum since our founding in 1967. He was an engaged member of our board for many years. John loved the many public spaces at the MCA and wanted the museum to have dedicated paths to engage the public in new ways. John was a member of the design review committee which worked with architect Josef Paul Kleihues on the final design of the MCA building which opened to the public in 1996. John was an advocate for the MCA Plaza as an art and community space, our terrace garden, and later the Commons. John had high aspirations of what our museum could accomplish and was vocal in steering the MCA towards those goals. We will remember John as an intelligent, kind, and constructive leader. His opinions were maverick, often spot-on, and his leadership brought out the best in our institution. We will miss his affirming presence.

We will always remember John. His support was unwavering, and words fall short to describe the benevolence and legacy he leaves with us.

Featured image

Anne and John Kern at the MCA Stage’s performance of Lucinda Childs’s DANCE, October 15, 2009
Photo: © MCA Chicago