The Contemporary Arts Center was founded as the Modern Art Society in 1939 by Betty Pollak Rauh, Peggy Frank Crawford and Rita Rentschler Cushman. These three women were able to raise enough money through donations to display modern art at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Early advice and encouragement was offered by both Edward M.M. Warburg, a friend of the Pollak family, as well as Alfred H. Barr. The society's very first exhibit, Modern Painting from Cincinnati Collections, opened in December of the same year. In 1954 the Modern Art Society adopted its current name, the Contemporary Arts Center. The CAC is a non-collecting museum that focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media.