The White House has acquired Isamu Noguchi’s Floor Frame (1962), the first work by an Asian-American in the White House’s holdings. “Noguchi’s inclusion in the White House Collection is a worthy testament to his incredible life’s work and is a milestone in our efforts to ensure that Americans from all cultural backgrounds are represented,” Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association.
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Broad is a billionaire best known for his art collection as well as his philanthropy. The majority of his fortune was made from his real estate company, Kaufman and Broad (KB) as well financial giant, SunAmerica, of which he was CEO until 2000.
Since 1984, the Broad Art Foundation has operated as a lending source to more than 400 museums and galleries. He serves on the boards of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Paying close attention to young artists over the years, his personal collection contains an assortment of trophy pieces, including “Balloon Dog” by Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst’s “Away from the Flock (II)”. As a collector, he has adopted a policy of lending works from his collection, not selling them.
A resident of Los Angeles, he has been linked with efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown. In 1991, he endowed Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, his alma mater. In 2003, he donated $100 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In 2003, he and his wife Edythe donated another $100 million to Harvard.
More recent contributions include $26 million to Michigan State University to create the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
On his foundation owning art versus selling:
“If they sell it to one museum, it will be in storage ninety-five percent of the time, because most museums, as you know, can display maybe five percent of their collections. So there’s an advantage in having our foundation own the work, because we will lend it for shows within reason, or when the artists wants it placed. In effect, the artist still has the right to place it, but gets the money paid for it.”
Lindemann, Adam. Collecting Contemporary: Los Angeles, Taschen GmbH 2006.