When her black grandchildren were toddlers, people on the Upper East Side smiled and said hello to them, treating them as if they were the cutest things in the world. In the early ’70s, Mr. Saalfield took a job as the headmaster of a school in Greenwich, Conn. Recently, as Ms. Gund has taken to selling off more of her paintings to bankroll her most important causes, she has begun expressing regret about not entering into the family business. She has spent a lifetime championing female artists and curators.

All rights reserved. “The other day,” Ms. Gund said, “I stepped into the elevator and said, ‘I have this cocaine habit.’ There were about six people and they just looked so startled.”. Ms. Gund grew up in Cleveland, where her father, George Gund, was the president of the Cleveland Trust Company, one of the nation’s largest banks. Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Leo Castelli, Agnes Gund, and Rauschenberg on the occasion of Castelli’s gift of Rauschenberg’s Bed (1955) to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, May 1989. Her tenure there is often considered to be the museum’s “golden era,” according to Bob Colacello, the Andy Warhol biographer, who sits on the boards of numerous arts organizations. Ms. Gund, 80, is patently uncomfortable accepting awards. If only there weren’t a journalist walking around the Getty Center asking people questions about her, stalking her for a profile she hadn’t agreed to, didn’t want written and probably would just end up filled with misquotes and half-truths.

Photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Lyle Ashton Harris take the portrait. He still thinks she was wrong to oppose the plan. “She sees a security guard before she sees a director, she sees a housekeeping person before she sees a chief, and the collection MoMA displayed this spring reflects that. Making it what was there and really the Duchampian background that he and Jasper [Johns] had together because they were very close in those early years. for Democratic politicians, there is a regal, almost atavistic quality to her.

“I’m biracial and her grandchildren are biracial, and her daughter is gay and I’m gay,” said Ms. Mehretu, a frequent guest at the ethnically diverse, cross-generational dinners Ms. Gund hosts at her home. The rightward political leanings of Mr. Schwarzman and Mr. Koch fed civic antipathy, but so did the seeming focus on capital improvements over art, books and after-school programs, the sort of projects Ms. Gund has spent a lifetime working on. The death of David Rockefeller in 2017 at the age of 101 also helped fortify Ms. Gund’s legend. But Ms. Gund is beloved by the support staffs of the organizations she donates to. “Can you see it?” Cat said, laughing.

In 1966, Ms. Gund’s father died of leukemia.

She was pleasantly surprised to find out she had been included among her brothers in his will and decided to start buying art. Rujeko Hockley and Ms. Gund at the Studio Museum gala. But that did not change his estimation of her as an “extraordinary figure at MoMA,” a person whose “moral compass” and “generosity of spirit” is “astounding.”.

Like her brothers do. 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. All became close friends of Ms. Gund’s, except Rothko. Required fields are marked *. Over the fireplace, where the Lichtenstein once lived, was a painting by the African-American artist Stanley Whitney.

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