Who would have thought that a well-respected university would slaver over its art in a financial pinch but a souless corporation–one that sells cancer, no less–would donate it’s best assets to a world-class museum making it even world classier?
Carol Vogel doesn’t lean on the irony here in her column that leads with the Phillip Morris/Altria donation. But we’re still chuckling over it.
The Whitney will get:
a new gift of about 150 works from the Altria Group (Philip Morris Companies until 2003). When it moved its headquarters to Richmond, Va., from New York last year and stopped its charitable arts financing, it donated its art collection to a number of museums including the Whitney.
[ . . . ] Included in the latest gift is Philip Guston’s self-portrait “Thoughts,” a 1972 oil on paper. “It’s one of the first times he showed himself smoking, a motif he went on to explore in subsequent works,” Ms. De Salvo said. Altria also gave the Whitney three 1965 Warhol screenprints of Jacqueline Kennedy at different historic moments — “Jackie I,” “Jackie II” and “Jackie III” — that were included in the portfolio “11 Pop Artists,” that was published a year later. “It’s one of the first major Pop Art portfolios,” Ms. De Salvo said. “We didn’t have any of them.”
[ . . . ] Also adding to existing holdings is a 1987-88 painting by Chuck Close of the artist Francesco Clemente. It is a gift of Leonard A. Lauder, the museum’s chairman emeritus, through his American Contemporary Art Foundation.
Company’s Fortunes Change, and the Whitney Benefits (New York Times)