At the end of the eighties, the then Mayor of Barcelona, Pasqual Maragall, involved the businessman Leopold Rodés in the creation of a contemporary art museum for the city. The Prime Minister of Catalonia also supported the initiative. Part of Catalan civil society shared the same conviction that a city like Barcelona, with its artistic, design and avant-garde tradition, needed a contemporary art museum.
The MACBA Foundation was set up in 1987 in order to cooperate in building this centre and to contribute to its future permanent collection. Thirty-three individuals – the members of the Board – and thirty-three businesses – the Founding Companies – joined forces and made generous contributions in order to purchase the museum’s first pieces.
A year later, in 1988, the Foundation, Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia, set up the MACBA Consortium, the museum’s governing body. And, in 2007, the Spanish Ministry of Culture joined the MACBA Consortium.
The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art was officially opened in 1995. The building, designed by the architect Richard Meier, helped to revitalise an area of the city, the Raval, which at the time showed serious structural deficits.