When Artists Weren’t Rock Stars

1960s Founders Staff

Mary E. Ittelson reflects on the fearlessness of the museum's founders in championing unknown artists.

A very gratifying part of my first involvement with the MCA on staff was being able to work with the founders, the people who were champions of contemporary art at a time when it wasn't a popular or glamorous thing to do. Contemporary artists weren't the rock stars that they are today.

And people didn't really understand the kind of experiments that contemporary artists were making and why they were important. And so the people who championed the museum were really brave and daring and bold and fearless, and those early qualities. And they remained bold and daring and brave and fearless for their whole lives. And the museum attracts those kinds of people and retains those kinds of people and that through line from those founders to today is what fuels the MCA.

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