The MCA is saddened by the passing of Life Trustee Judith Neisser, an outstanding civic leader and a beloved patron of the museum. Judy and her late husband, Edward, were early supporters of the MCA and helped found the Contemporary Art Circle, one of the museum’s first affinity groups, in 1979. Judy joined the MCA Women’s Board in 1982 and launched an early iteration of the MCA Store with fellow Trustee Helyn Goldenberg and Chicago gallerist Rhona Hoffman during that time. The same year, Ed joined the MCA Board and together they played critical roles in the life of the museum. After her husband passed away in 1993, Judy joined the MCA Board of Trustees and was a spirited presence on the board’s Exhibition Committee for many years.
Judy gave generously to the MCA in many ways through both the Neisser Family Foundation and from her family’s art collection. She personally directed gifts of art from artists including Richard Artschwager, Sol LeWitt, Mark Manders, Donald Moffett, Ed Paschke, Lorna Simpson, Thomas Struth, Jannis Kounellis, and Richard Long. Her family had a keen eye for collecting conceptual, minimal, and post-minimal works from the 1960s and 1970s—an important time period that is, thanks to her generosity, brilliantly represented in the MCA’s collection. Judy hosted numerous events for the MCA in her Chicago home, always welcoming guests with her joyful laugh. Judy also kept a home in Aspen, Colorado, and was an important connector for the MCA to the art scene outside of Chicago. Judy and Ed’s legacy will live on at the MCA through their daughter, Kate Neisser, a current member of the Board of Trustees. They will be remembered at the MCA for their years of dedicated service and renewing generosity.