Reflections on Art and Life


Photo by Peter McCullough, © Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Northern Trust CEO Michael O'Grady greets this year's EXPO CHICAGO visitors.

It is my honor and privilege to welcome you to EXPO CHICAGO. Whether this is your first visit to the exposition or an annual custom, it is my hope that your experience leaves you with a deeper appreciation for global modern and contemporary art.

In our sixth year as presenting sponsor, we are encouraged by the increasing interest in art that leaves us particularly excited for this year’s exposition.

"I like to think of contemporary art as a reflection of what is happening in the world at any point in time. It gives a broader perspective of people’s views on current events and how they are experiencing the world."

Michael O’Grady

Chief Executive Officer and President, Northern Trust Corporation; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

For many of them, art collections are a cherished asset, and we are proud to assist clients with not only building their collections but also protecting and transferring them for the benefit of loved ones or charities.

As a member of the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), I see parallels to issues we face every day in the business world. A key theme is the need to constantly evolve, especially in how we leverage technology to stay relevant to our audience. During my time with the MCA, the museum has digitized its entire collection. Similarly, at Northern Trust, we constantly think about how to deploy technology to elevate the level of service we provide to our clients and to exceed their expectations.

Amanda Williams Touch Tour, December 16, 2017. © Museum of Contempory Art Chicago.

Photo by Nathan Keay

I welcome you all to take this opportunity to view the impressive artwork on display here at EXPO CHICAGO and take some time to reflect. There is much to see, so I encourage you, if your schedule permits, to spread your visit over multiple days. We sincerely hope you enjoy the experience.


Michael O’Grady

Chief Executive Officer and President, Northern Trust Corporation; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Second (to None) City, World-Class Art

Left to right: Madeleine Grynsztejn, Kerry James Marshall, and Deborah Roberts.

© Museum of Contempory Art Chicago.

Photo by Nathan Keay

Wealth spoke with Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker director of the MCA, about her experience working with Michael O’Grady and Chicago’s role in the burgeoning art world.

“The MCA has a strong and longstanding relationship with Northern Trust. Northern Trust has long been a supporter of the MCA over the years, as well as a philanthropic supporter of contemporary art in Chicago. Michael O’Grady has been on our board of trustees since 2012, and he is one of my go-to trustees on all manner of wisdom, from management to financial acumen. He is a strong pillar of support for this museum, as a partner to the MCA and to me.

Chicago is a city that truly values and treasures the importance of arts for the mind, soul and body. We have world-class artists living here, like Kerry James Marshall, Theaster Gates, Amanda Williams, Michael Rakowitz and Faheem Majeed. Our mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is a former dancer. All of these aspects – great artists, great galleries, and great support – create an incredibly strong cultural community.”

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