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Madeleine Grynsztejn Pritzker Director


Madeleine Grynsztejn is Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Under her leadership since 2008, the MCA has redefined the contemporary art museum as an artist-activated, audience-engaged space for generating art, ideas, and conversation in ways that illuminate what it means to be a citizen of Chicago and the world. Grynsztejn works in partnership with her senior staff to optimize all aspects of the museum’s operations, stewarding the best-attended exhibitions in the MCA’s history as well as historic acquisitions, including the 2022 art donation from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection shared with the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

In 2017, as part of an $82 million campaign leading to the MCA's 50th anniversary, Grynsztejn spearheaded a redesign of the MCA's free public spaces, launching a new museum restaurant, Marisol, as well as an innovative social engagement space, the Commons. She guided the project team of Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee; Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili, who created an immersive environment for Marisol; Mexican design duo Pedro y Juana, who designed the Commons at the physical heart of the museum; and Chicago chef Jason Hammel, who garnered Marisol consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmand awards.

Grynsztejn is currently leading and fundraising for the MCA Next Strategic Plan, which is guided by three core Principles: Champion Revelatory Art; Spark Social Belonging; and Achieve Sustainable and Purpose-Driven Operations, and seeks to secure the museum’s next chapter through increased endowment support of groundbreaking programs; the institution-wide implementation of Spanish/English operations; a digital transformation of the museum’s online presence on par with onsite experiences; and the promise of a new art storage facility.

While at the MCA, Grynsztejn was selected as Commissioner of the Chilean Pavilion represented by artist Alfredo Jaar for the 2013 Venice Biennale. Prior to the MCA, Grynsztejn was Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she curated the critically acclaimed traveling exhibitions Take your time: Olafur Eliasson and The Art of Richard Tuttle, which received a "Best U.S. Monographic Museum Show" award from the Association of International Art Critics. At the Carnegie Museum of Art, she curated the 1991/2000 Carnegie International.

Grynsztejn is former President of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) where she continues to serve on the nominating committee and is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and former member of the board of governance of CIMAM, the international association of contemporary museums. Grynsztejn was born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and London, England. In 2015 she was knighted to the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France. She is a graduate of Columbia University, New York, where she received the 2018 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Achievement; and is a graduate of Newcomb College, Tulane University, where in 2018 she endowed the Marilyn Brown Award for Outstanding Art History Major in honor of her art history teacher.