As she leads the MCA into its 50th anniversary, Madeleine Grynsztejn continues to find enlightenment through exploration.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” says Madeleine Grynsztejn, smiling. In her bright, airy office overlooking Seneca Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Pritzker Director lights up while talking about Kerry James Marshall: Mastry. “We’re an ‘I saw them when’ museum,” says the Gold Coast resident, noting the institute’s history of being the first nationwide to have showcased luminaries like Frida Kahlo, Claes Oldenburg, and Jeff Koons.
Now entering her eighth year at the MCA, Grynsztejn is most captivated by the city’s embarrassment of cultural riches. “I’m very inspired, frankly, by museums,” she says, citing the Art Institute of Chicago and The Renaissance Society as go-tos. She’s no stranger to the performing arts scene, either. “The theater here is the best in the country,” proclaims the frequent Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, and Harris Theater patron.
And she’s a big advocate of the attractions that make the Windy City such a world-class destination. “It’s really important to remember the stalwarts, and I think the John Hancock Building is absolutely gorgeous,” says Grynsztejn, who is as fond of 360 Chicago’s vantage point as she is, say, morning visits to the Lincoln Park Zoo with husband Tom Shapiro. Laughs Grynsztejn, “We love listening to the animals getting their day together.” 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-397-4010