A Lunchtime Retreat
Helen Zell describes her first encounter with the MCA.
When did we meet the MCA? Well, probably was 1967, 1969, in that little two-year period. I worked at 259 East Erie. I was employed by a company named Science Research Associates. I was an editor. I had a very brief lunch hour, 45 minutes, and wasn't much interested in talking to anybody because I didn't know anybody in the building. So I used to leave the building and take a little walk around the corner. On one of my walks, I discovered the Museum of Contemporary Art was right behind our building.
And I ventured in one day. Found it a little bit daunting. It was very quiet. There were no people there. Lots of wonderful things on the wall to look at. No text written about them. So it was challenging, intellectually. But gradually, after visiting several times, I started to really feel comfortable there, and actually welcomed the opportunity to look at the art, with nobody there to tell me about it. It was really nice. It was a typical kunsthalle installation with nothing except me and the art. And that's how the relationship started.