Renowned philanthropist Agnes Gund, who has led the board of New York’s MoMA PS1 for the past decade, is vacating her position in order to chair the institution’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee, Artnews reports.
Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, on whose board she also serves, is a longtime champion of racial justice and the founder of the Art for Justice Fund, which she sold a $165 million Roy Lichtenstein painting to form in 2017. The organization issues grants to artists and advocates with the intent of reducing the US prison population and spurring criminal justice reform and is a major sponsor of MoMA PS1’s current exhibition “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” curated by Nicole R. Fleetwood.
Sarah Arison, who was previously vice-chair of the museum board, will take over as board chair. “I am honored to take on this role as Chair of the PS1 Board of Directors, and humbled to continue Aggie Gund’s legacy of inspirational leadership,” she acknowledged in a statement. Arison is the founder of the grant-making National YoungArts Foundation, which focuses on emerging artists; she is additionally president of the American Ballet Theater and chair of the education committee at the Brooklyn Museum. Australian collector Simon Mordant, a former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney, will serve as vice-chair.
MoMA PS1, like art institutions the world over, has suffered financially owing to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, having furloughed 70 percent of its workers early in the summer and ultimately shedding roughly 13 percent of staff to date. In announcing the board changes, the museum noted that it had established a $5 million fund aimed at helping the institution achieve “long-term fiscal sustainability”; Gund contributed roughly $2.5 million earmarked for the creation of a new program focused on MoMA PS1’s relations with its surrounding community.
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