In October, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) opens its doors to the public in a newly renovated one-story building at 237 East Ontario Street that had been built as a bakery and for a time had served as the corporate offices of Playboy Enterprises. The MCA is founded with Jan van der Marck as the first director. The premiere exhibitions are Pictures To Be Read/Poetry To Be Seen and Claes Oldenburg: Projects for Monuments. The MCA also presents Dan Flavin: Pink and Gold, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition. The board of trustees elects Joseph Randall Shapiro as its first president.
The MCA is given its first work, Six Women, by Venezuelan sculptor Marisol. The most significant exhibitions are George Segal: Twelve Human Situations and Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Mayer.
Christo wraps the MCA’s building and galleries with 8,000 square feet of tarpaulin; it is the artist’s first building wrap in the United States. The museum features its first retrospective of a Chicago artist with an exhibition of H.C. Westermann’s work. In the conceptual exhibition Art by Telephone, participants phone in the specifications for their works of art.