Founded by Columbia College Chicago in 1984 as the successor to the 1976 Chicago Center for Contemporary Photography, the museum collaborates with artists, photographers, communities, and institutions locally, nationally, and internationally. As the leading photography museum in the Midwest, presenting projects and exhibitions and acquiring works that embrace a wide range of contemporary aesthetics and technologies, the museum offers students, educators, research specialists, and general audiences an intimate and comprehensive visual study center.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is a stimulating and innovative forum for the collection, creation, and examination of contemporary imagemaking in its camera tradition and in its expanded vocabulary of digital processes. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum considers all elements of our mission to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the artistic, cultural and political implication of the image in our world today, within the context of public service and responsibility to the community and museum profession.
The Museum is committed to broadening the visual arts by constantly searching for new national and international talent to exhibit rather than simply following suit established by larger institutions. To this end, the museum’s programming guides the public to a greater understanding of thought-provoking contemporary photography as well as an appreciation for traditional work that has not yet received critical acclaim.