Helen and Sam Zell, on behalf of their foundation, announced today that they are donating $10 million to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The gift, among the largest made to the MCA, will be used to create the Zell Fund for Artistic Excellence and help the museum pay off some of the mortgage on the building at 220 E. Chicago Ave. It will also be used to support museum director Madeleine Grynsztejn’s “Vision” plan in making the MCA a premier place for contemporary art.
The museum is “extremely grateful for this generous gift,” Ms. Grynsztejn said in a statement.
Ms. Zell is a trustee of the museum and was chairman of its board from 2004-08. She is currently president of the MCA’s women’s board and chairman of the collection committee. The Zell Family Foundation also provides two paid internships at the museum.
“I want to help make sure that the museum is on solid financial ground and our Vision is realized,” Ms. Zell said in the statement.
Some of the $10 million will be used to help develop programs, fund a marketing campaign, support the artist residency program and pay for new exhibitions.
The donation is the second $10 million gift the MCA has received this year. Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson in April gave the same amount to name the 300-seat MCA Theater, which is now the Edlis Neeson Theater. Mr. Edlis, a trustee since 1981, and Ms. Neeson are longtime supporters of the MCA.