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Couple give $10 million to Museum of Contemporary Art

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Updated: May 6, 2012 8:18AM

The Museum of Contemporary Art has received a $10 million gift from Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, longtime supporters of the Chicago museum who’ve donated art to the institution, and said it will name the museum’s theater the Edlis Neeson Theater in honor of the couple. The $10 million fund also will provide long-term support for educational, performance and exhibition initiatives.

“We are extremely thankful to Stefan and Gael for this generous and important gift and for their support and enthusiasm for the MCA Chicago,” said Madeleine Grynsztejn, the museum’s director. “We are very honored to have their name on one of the great spaces of the museum. Stefan and Gael share our vision of the MCA as an artist-activated, audience-engaged museum for producing art, ideas, community and conversation around the creative process, which often takes place in the theater setting.”

Edlis has been an MCA trustee since 1981. Neeson serves on the museum’s exhibition committee.

Their support has helped the museum acquire major works including Maurizio Cattelan’s “Felix” (2001), Jenny Holzer’s “For Chicago” (2007), and Olafur Eliasson’s “Your eye activity field” (2009). The couple also donated contemporary masterpieces to the MCA’s collection by artists such as Eric Fischl, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and H.C. Westermann, in addition to Jeff Koons’ iconic “Rabbit.”

The intimate theater being named for them seats 300 people and has been a venue for educational programs, artists talks and theatrical and dance performances.

Miriam Di Nunzio

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