MCA Circle Donors and DVC Members are invited to travel to thriving cultural sites to visit private art spaces and meet local artists and cultural thinkers. Our international and domestic excursions offer participants opportunities to learn about contemporary art from artists and experts alike.

For more information about our travel opportunities, contact Linsey Foster, at [email protected] or


People in a park pass by a large black-and-white mural whose illustrations blend classic urban structures with sci-fi elements.
A visit to Kerry James Marshall’s mural on the High Line during an Emerge trip to New York City © MCA Chicago

Upcoming trips

Director's Vision Council


Join Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn for a tour of Japan’s unique art scene from May 14−23, 2016. This exclusive trip highlights the country’s best contemporary art and architecture while providing insight into its rich history. Travelers will have private access to the studios of extraordinary artists and to the homes of accomplished collectors. We will be joined by artists, architects, and museum and gallery directors who will share the region’s artistic contributions. For more information about the Director’s Vision Council, please contact Linsey Foster at [email protected].

Past trips

Director's Vision Council

Istanbul Biennial

In October 2013, members of the Director’s Vision Council went on an unforgettable journey to Turkey, which highlighted both Istanbul’s unique history and its vibrant contemporary art. The trip included access to private collections and artists' studios and a tour the 13th Istanbul Biennial under the insightful guidance of Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn and James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling. Additionally, members had the opportunity to relax in world-famous Turkish spas and tour the markets with private shoppers.

Documenta 13 and the Rhineland

In June 2012, members of the Director’s Vision Council traveled with James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling and Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn to Germany to witness the epic contemporary art exhibition Documenta 13.

Documenta, which takes place in Kassel every five years, is considered one of the most important exhibitions for modern and contemporary art in the world. The trip also included a viewing of artist Gerhard Richter’s stained glass windows at Cologne Cathedral and a visit to the Museum Insel Hombroich, which is a series of artist-designed pavilions scattered throughout the landscape around the home of collector Karl-Heinrich Müller, along with curator-led tours of various exhibitions and meals with various artists at some of Germany’s finest restaurants and cafés.

Berlin and Copenhagen

Inspired by the MCA's artist-centric mission, the first Director’s Vision Council travel opportunity focused on the artistic genesis and journey of one of the most important contemporary artists of our time: Olafur Eliasson. Travelers journeyed to the German city of Berlin, where Eliasson has his studio, as well as the artist’s hometown of Copenhagen, Denmark.

This trip was led by Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn and coincided with Berlin Gallery Weekend, an annual event during which the city hums with artists, collectors, curators, and gallerists from around the world. Highlights included visits with the dynamic contemporary artists living and working in Berlin; tours of the private collections of significant collectors such as Erika Hoffmann; and luxury accommodations and meals at top gastronomic oases, including NOMA, recently named the “best restaurant in the world.”

Circle Donors

Marfa, Texas

Escaping the Chicago cold, MCA Circle Donors traveled to Marfa, Texas, with James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling. Travelers enjoyed two days of private tours of local artists’ studios, as well as access to Donald Judd’s home and studio and the stellar Chinati Foundation. Our group lodged at the historic Hotel Paisano and enjoyed unique culinary experiences to complement the art excursions.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

In January 2012, Circle Donors and Friends of MCA Stage ventured to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to experience Einstein on the Beach, an unconventional opera by famed composer Philip Glass. In addition to attending the performance, participants also received a tour of the University of Michigan Museum of Art by the UMMA Director Joe Rosa.

Los Angeles, California

James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling led an excursion to explore the Los Angeles art scene. The weekend included exclusive tours of private contemporary art collections, including those of Leonard and Susan Nimoy, Marc Selwyn, and Mandy and Cliff Einstein; visits with contemporary artists living and working in Los Angeles, including Sterling Ruby, Mark Bradford, and Thomas Houseago; an insider view of the gallery scene, with visits to the Broad Art Foundation, Regan Projects, Blum and Poe, and Susanne Viehlmetter; and meals at the city’s gastronomic hot spots.

New York, New York

Circle Donors traveled to the city that never sleeps to experience Olafur Eliasson’s Waterfalls and enjoy a private tour of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition on Buckminster Fuller. A true highlight was a private tour of Jeff Koons’s studio.