A studio visit provides an opportunity for some of the most meaningful encounters, conversations, and exchanges between artists, friends, curators, and collectors. Agnes Gund—or “Aggie,” as she is affectionately known—is one of the most dedicated and steadfast of studio visitors, consistently inspired by the thrill of looking and talking with artists in the presence of their artworks. This exhibition celebrates Gund’s contributions as art patron, collector, and longtime Trustee of The Museum of Modern Art. The presentation pays tribute to the more than 700 works of art she has funded over the past half century. These gifts have come steadily and reliably during her decades of service as a key member of several departmental acquisition committees and her tenure as the Museum’s President from 1991 to 2002.
Gund is committed to supporting a vast range of artists, from celebrated figures she counts among her close friends to emerging talents whose work she champions. “My friendships with artists,” she has said, “as well as a sensitivity to the challenges facing women artists and artists of color, have been formative in shaping my collection, which is deeply personal and deeply autobiographical.” The exhibition will reflect the depth of her collecting by bringing together a broad-ranging group of artworks from the 1950s to today in a non-chronological display that sets visitor favorites, seldom seen works, and recent acquisitions in dialogue with one another. While presenting only a small fraction of the works Gund has given to MoMA, the presentation aims to prove that our collection would not be what it is today without her deeply held convictions and unparalleled generosity.
(Photo: Nick Cave. Soundsuit. 2011. Found objects, knit head and bodysuit, and mannequin, 10' 1" x 42" x 33" (307.3 x 106.7 x 83.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Agnes Gund in honor of Dr. Stuart W. Lewis. © 2018 Nick Cave. Photo: Imaging and Visual Resources Department, MoMA)