William J. Hokin

1947–2018

About

The MCA mourns the loss of longtime friend and Trustee William J. Hokin. (Sep 11, 2018)

The MCA has been fortunate to have Will and his family actively engaged with the museum for more than 40 years. Will joined a long line of MCA supporters, including his father, Myron, a founding Circle member, in 1978 to become one of the youngest trustees the museum has known—at 31 years old. He served on the Executive and Collection Committees for many years and was a dedicated ambassador for the MCA. Will and his wife, Anne, introduced many artists, patrons, and future trustees to their beloved institution and the MCA is stronger because of their shared dedication.

Will was also an enthusiastic collector, having started his art collection at the age of 13. In 1985, his family's collection was presented in the MCA exhibition Selections from the William J. Hokin Collection, which featured over 130 works by many of the postwar era’s greatest artists and represented nearly every major art movement of the period. Will and Anne were especially generous with their art and directed more than 50 works from their collection to the MCA, including key pieces by Claes Oldenburg, Jenny Holzer, Sol LeWitt, Robert Rauschenberg, and Richard Tuttle, to name just a few. Two of the Hokin family’s gifts are currently on view at the museum as part of Picture Fiction: Kenneth Josephson and Contemporary Photography: John Coplans’s Self-Portrait (Double Feet, Five Panels) and John Baldessari’s Fish and Ram.

Will’s passion for the arts was not merely a hobby but rather a way of life. His voracious appetite for contemporary art and issues was clear, as was his love of the MCA. Will's legacy lives on in the MCA's dedication to presenting thought-provoking exhibitions, programs, and art.

Two views of the same man, early middle aged on the left and late middle aged on the right.
Left: Will Hokin at the opening party for Selections from the William J. Hokin Collection, Apr 1985. Right: Will Hokin at the Circle Preview of Rudolf Stingel, Jan 2007. Photos © MCA Chicago.