Claudia McDonough was born in Athens, Greece. She received her BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and her MFA from Southern Methodist University in Texas in 1988. McDonough works with objects, photographs, fabric,  and traditional and non-traditional materials to create work that responds to the power and vulnerability of memories and how we experience time. She has been awarded multiple Maryland State Arts Council Artist Grants for her work and has been an artist-in-residence at the BEMIS Center for Contemporary Art Residency, Omaha, NE and School 33 Art Center Residency, Baltimore, MD. Her work has been exhibited nationally in venues such as Area 405, Baltimore, MD; Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC; Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX; and the Meadows Museum, Dallas, TX. She has been reviewed in publications such as The Baltimore Sun, City Paper, Winston-Salem Monthly, and Winston-Salem Journal.

McDonough currently lives and works in Baltimore.