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Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Josef Paul Kleihues "MCA Chicago"

Josef Paul Kleihues "MCA Chicago"

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From: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Limited Edition: 15
Exhibition: MCA Chicago 40th Anniversary
Material: Printed vinyl
Dimensions: 30" x 98" (76cm x 248cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


In 2007 the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago celebrated its 40th anniversary. Banners throughout the city invited visitors to "Come curious". The striking blue banners feature an image of the museum's fabulous fish-eye shaped central staircase designed by architect Josef Paul Kleihues. Architecture buffs and lovers of evocative spaces will admire the simplicity of these 32 banners.


In 2007, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding. A slate of special exhibitions was planned, and the museum created vibrant banners featuring its spectacular Paul Kleihues-designed fish-eye staircase. Hung side-by-side on street-posts around the city, the banners encouraged passers-by to “Come curious.” Curious visitors to the MCA were not disappointed. They enjoyed great art and the stunning architectural elements of Kleihues’s architecture.

Back in 1991, the MCA finished a lengthy competition to select an architect for its new building. From among an impressive group of international finalists including Emilio Ambasz, Morphosis, Tadao Ando, Fumihiko Maki, and Christian de Portzamparc, Kleihues was selected. This was his first US commission, though he was known for his designs for other museums including the Sprengel Museum, Hanover (1972), the Museum of Prehistory in Frankfurt (1980-86), the Civic Gallery and Lutze Museum in Sindelfingen (1987-90), and the Berlin Museum of Contemporary Art.

This banner features a view of the museum’s central staircase, one of its most dramatic features. The image spans both sides of the banner, so hanging a pair of banners side-by-side creates a complete diptych. The image is captured in a dramatic, monochromatic blue palette punctuated mostly with black and white text. The front reads “Come” in white text and has the museum’s name and logo in peach lettering, “Museum of Contemporary Art/MCA”. The other side of the banner has white text that reads “curious.”, and lists the museum’s address “220 East Chicago Avenue”.


These banners were hung around Chicago to promote the 40th anniversary of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 2007.

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