Madeleine Grynsztejn is Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Under her leadership, the MCA has become a new model for 21st-century contemporary art museums—an artist-activated, audience-engaged space for generating art, ideas, and conversation around the creative process. She has balanced this creative vision with her commitment to sustainable financial growth and driving cultural tourism.
Grynsztejn has curated many major exhibitions on renowned contemporary artists including Doris Salcedo, Luc Tuymans, Olafur Eliasson, and curated the work of Alfredo Jaar for the Chilean Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Prior to the MCA, Grynsztejn was Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she curated the critically-acclaimed traveling exhibitions Take your time: Olafur Eliasson and The Art of Richard Tuttle, which received a “Best U.S. Monographic Museum Show” award from the Association of International Art Critics. Previous to SFMOMA, Grynsztejn was Curator of Contemporary Art and curator of the 1999/2000 Carnegie International, a globally focused quadrennial exhibition, at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She was also Associate Curator and acting department head for 20th-century painting and sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago where she curated Affinities: Chuck Close and Tom Friedman and About Place: Recent Art of the Americas. Grynsztejn was born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and London, England.
She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and received her BA in art history and French from Newcomb College of Tulane University, and her MA in art history from Columbia University. She is a former Helena Rubenstein Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and a 2007 graduate of the Getty Foundation’s Museum Leadership Institute. She has been a lecturer, interviewee, moderator, and panelist on film, TV, radio, web, and other public forums on art-related topics including exhibitions on view, museological practices, and general culture topics. Grynsztejn was recently knighted by French President François Hollande to the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the International Committee for Museums (CIMAM), and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Galeria de Arte Nacional in Caracas, among others.