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Society for Contemporary Art

The Society for Contemporary Art (SCA) was founded in 1940 to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the art of our time.

Monthly programs provide SCA members access to an exciting roster of leading national and international artists, dealers, critics, historians, and curators, as well as visits to distinguished private collections in the United States and abroad.

Each year, acquisition committee members review a carefully selected group of contemporary works and present them together as an exhibition. The entire membership then votes to purchase one or more objects on behalf of the museum. Over the years, the SCA has become one of the museum’s most significant donors, contributing over 150 works by artists such as Carl Andre, Lee Bontecou, Larry Clark, Tacita Dean, General Idea, Leon Golub, Dan Graham, Jasper Johns, Guillermo Kuitca, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, Lorna Simpson, Nancy Spero, Wolfgang Tillmans, James Turrell, and Christopher Wool.

Membership Levels

Benefactor $5,000

Benefactors provide critical financial support to further SCA's mission through programs and acquisitions.

  • All Patron-level benefits
  • Invitations to private events with distinguished guests including the Art Institute’s curators, visiting scholars, and artists
  • First access to exclusive opportunities such as travel with curators

Patron $2,000

  • All Sponsor-level benefits
  • Special access to contemporary art exhibitions at the Art Institute and opportunities to visit local private collections
  • Exclusive travel opportunities with curators

Sponsor $1,000

  • All Friend-level benefits
  • Invitations to special exhibition events at the Art Institute, including access to curators

Friend $500

  • An invitation to attend the Society for Contemporary Art’s Annual Meeting / Acquisition Vote
  • Invitations to members-only lectures and other events

Junior (under 35) / Artist $200

  • Junior memberships are available to those under the age of 35, and Artist memberships to those who are active as working artists
  • All Friend-level benefits

Art Institute of Chicago membership is a prerequisite for membership in the Society for Contemporary Art.

For the most recent information on our programs, please contact the SCA at (312) 443-3630 or, or visit our website,