Art Institute of Chicago Gets Massive Gift for New Photography Center


There’s little doubt around these parts that photography is an art.

photo of high-rise building
Photo of high-rise buildings in Chicago. Photo by Sawyer Bengtson

But it’s always nice to see that others agree. Even better, it’s when they agree AND put their money on the line to support the cause.

And $USD 25 million is no small sum by any stretch of the imagination but that’s how much the Art Institute of Chicago is receiving to open a new photography center.

The Bucksbaum family gift is the largest the photography department at the museum has ever received, unsurprisingly, and is part of the family’s mission to advance photography as an art. 

“I have an abiding passion and appreciation for the power of photography and media. This gift from our family is an investment in the future of the department at the museum and the curators who are moving this field forward,” Kay Bucksbaum, also an Art Institute Chicago trustee, said of the donation, The Art Newspaper reports. 

If you’ve followed this blog, you know there’s some flux right now in the field, specifically swirling around AI and all of its generative output. How did it get created? Is it actually art or photography? How should it be classified in contests and beyond – if at all? 

Heck, even some of the biggest names in providing tools for photographers wonder if this whole AI assistance thing is going to ultimately make almost all of us obsolete. Whatever the case, one thing is pretty clear, and that is that photography is art and however you slice it, we’ll still need photographers to produce it. The Buckbaum’s $USD 25 million gift pretty much underscores this. 

Any thoughts you might have on photography as art are welcome in the comments.

We have some more headlines you might want to read in our photography news.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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