I admit I don’t usually keep up with the philanthropy world, but this New York Times profile of Agnes Gund, an art collector and philanthropist, is really interesting:
Three years ago, Ms. Gund went to see Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th.” She was so disturbed by its message about America’s racist system of mass incarceration that she went home, removed her most prized painting by Roy Lichtenstein from the walls, and sold it to Steven Cohen, a hedge fund investor, to the tune of $165 million.
Then, she took her money from that and — with her friend Darren Walker at the Ford Foundation — started “Art for Justice” that would serve as a bank and provide funds for artists in prison and for organizations working in the arena of criminal justice reform. (She has already funded it in excess of $100 million.)
Then there’s this classic line:
“With a lot of these philanthropists, you don’t know what the motives are or whether they’re going to be indicted in the next week,” said James Reginato, a writer at large at Vanity Fair. “Aggie personifies class in the old sense of the word. She’s unbesmirched by any kind of taint like so many of them. She’s universally adored.”