Madeline Murphy Rabb


Madeline Murphy Rabb is the founder and president of Murphy Rabb, Inc., an art advisory business in Chicago. For 35 years, she curated important African American art collections for private clients across the country as well as corporate art collections for hospitals, banks, financial management companies, and apartment buildings such as Brown Capital Management, the John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County, the Northern Trust Chicago South Financial Center, Cityfront Place, Ariel Investments, Capri Capital Advisors, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Evanston Hospital, and The Chicago Park District among many others.

She has a more than 45-year career in the arts as a painter and printmaker, arts administrator, art appraiser, personal art curator, curatorial activist, and arts patron. Madeline has been a collector of art created by Black American artists all her life. She has conducted tours in her home and lent paintings from her extensive personal collection to exhibitions in local, national, and international museums. She has also designed jewelry since 1993.

Before establishing her art advisory business, Madeline was Executive Director of the Chicago Office of Fine Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs, from 1983-1991. She was appointed by Mayor Harold Washington and served through the administrations of Mayors Eugene Sawyer and Richard Daley. 

Madeline has served on numerous boards and art panels, including Arts Midwest, Arts for America, the Joseph Jefferson Committee, the Illinois Arts Alliance, Hyde Park Art Center, the Southside Community Art Center, DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art Woman’s Board, Sculpture Chicago, the David Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Columbia College Chicago. In 1992 She testified before the United States Senate Committee for the Reauthorization of the NEA.

Since 2016 she has studied creative writing and is completing her memoir, Curating A Life. An elite athlete, she swims, bikes, does yoga, and has competed in two triathlons. She competes in the 50/100/200/500 Freestyle in regional competitions, winning over 20 gold and silver medals. She competed at the 2019 and 2022 National Senior Games and will compete again in 2023. She costars in the 18-minute documentary film Team Dream, which tells the inspiring story of two mature Black women who returned to swimming in their retirement. It follows their training and competing in the 2022 National Senior Games in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.  

Madeline currently serves on the Woman’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago, the President’s Global Advisory Committee at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Regional Council of the Smithsonian Museums. She is an Ambassador for the National Senior Games.

Rabb received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in painting and a Master of Science degree in Visual Design in printmaking from the Illinois Institute of Technology.