SCA & Art Institute of Chicago

Established in 1940 as a not-for-profit organization that supports the Art Institute of Chicago, the SCA promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art of the current moment. SCA programs and events offer this insight to participants through accessing artists, leading critics, historians, curators, dealers, distinguished private collections, and major art destinations within the United States and abroad. The SCA also has made a substantial contribution to the museum’s collection and presentations of contemporary art through its acquisitions, special initiatives, and exhibition support.

In 2017, the SCA Engagement Fund was established to lend financial support to select Art Institute of Chicago initiatives related to contemporary art. Providing further opportunities for SCA members to participate directly in the museum’s work, this includes but is not limited to support for: exhibitions and performances, the production of publications, education initiatives, and programming.


The Society for Contemporary Art (SCA) supports the Art Institute of Chicago by engaging the community in a dialogue about the art of our time and acquiring works that enrich the museum’s collection.

Engagement Fund


Initiated in 2019, Iterations is a series of performance commissions that underline the wide range of artistic practices and attitudes in performance today.

Cevdet Erek chiçiçiçichiciçi

Cally Spooner DEAD TIME (a crime novel)

Alexandra Bachzetsis Chasing a Ghost

Paulina Olowska Naughty Nymphs in the Courtyard of the Favorites


Malangatana: Mozambique Modern


Igshaan Adams: Desire Lines

stanley brouwn

Margaret Honda Double Feature

SCA Editions

Contribute to SCA fundraising efforts and impact public programing and initiatives by acquiring an SCA Edition. For more information please contact

  • Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2022. Intaglio with relief on Arches En Tout Cas paper. 15 3/4 x 13 3/4 inches. Edition of 40 (+15 AP). Available for purchase: $5,000.
  • Tony Lewis, Plunder (1-3), 2022. Graphite powder and rubber cement on paper. 11 x 15 inches. From a closed series of five works. Available for purchase: $10,000.
A work made of acrylic on canvas with hand-woven fabric.

Emma Amos. Black Dog Blues, 1983. Acquired in 2020.

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Board of Directors

  • Patty Sternberg
    Officer: President
  • Linda Usher
    Officer: 1st Vice President and Treasurer
  • Larry Antonatos
    Officer: 2nd Vice President
  • Fenton Booth
    Officer: Secretary
  • David Egeland
    Nominating, Bylaws and Governance
  • Jessica Diamond
    Programming Chair
  • Macol Stewart Cerda
    Membership and Outreach Co-Chair
  • Aron Gent
    Membership and Outreach Co-Chair
  • Michelle Holland
    Marketing and Sponsorship Chair
  • Eszter Borvendeg
    Hospitality Chair
  • Jacolyn Bucksbaum
  • Dirk Denison
  • Michelle Edwards
  • Eric McKissack
  • Paula Molner
  • Kate Neisser
  • William Padnos
  • Paul Rehder
  • Stephanie Skestos Gabriele


  • Jennifer Cordileone
    Executive Director
  • Bianca Bova
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SCA President Patty Sternberg (left) and Associate Curator Robyn Farrell (right) at the SCA's viewing of "David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020"

History & Impact

The SCA has evolved significantly during its history. It all began in April of 1940 with Daniel Catton Rich who served as the director of fine arts at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1938-1958. Seeking to strengthen the museum’s program for purchases in contemporary art, Rich met with a small group of friends who, sharing his goal, incorporated a not-for-profit with the name the Society for Contemporary American Art (SCAA). In 1967, the SCAA opted to formally change its name to the Society for Contemporary Art (SCA), to allow for the international focus of art and artists that continues today.


Artworks acquired for the permanent collection at the Art Institute of Chicago


Public programs and member events


Viewers to Iterations performances since 2019


Visitors attracted to the SCA supported 2021-22 exhibition, Barbara Kruger: THINKING OF YOU. I MEAN ME. I MEAN YOU.

A woman wearing a black tank top and blue pants dances with a man wearing dark shorts, while a man plays piano in the background.

Performance by Alexandra Bachzetsis, "Chasing a Ghost" in 2019, part of the SCA supported Iterations series.

People stand around talking in the middle of a white gallery space with paintings on the walls.

Become a Member

Connect to art through the people who make it happen and get exclusive access to exhibitions, programs, events, and more.