Whitney Museum of American Art announce Gift from Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner

The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Centre Pompidou Foundation have received an unprecedented promised gift of works of art from the noted art collectors Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, announced Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney, and Alain Seban, the Chairman and CEO of the Centre Pompidou, which expects to receive a loan of works being given to the Centre Pompidou Foundation. This magnanimous promised gift consists of more than 800 works of art by leading figures in American and international art spanning the last several decades. Nearly 500 works by about seventy American artists (about forty of whom are represented by multiple works) will enter the Whitney’s collection, while some 300 works by twenty-seven European and international artists will be exhibited by the Centre Pompidou.

The Whitney and the Centre Pompidou will each present both the American and international works in major upcoming exhibitions. The Whitney’s presentation, organized by Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney, is scheduled for 2015-16, the opening year of the Whitney’s new downtown building, currently under construction. The Pompidou’s exhibition will take place after the New York presentation and will be curated by Christine Macel, chief curator at the Centre Pompidou. An illustrated catalogue documenting the collection will accompany the exhibitions.

Mr. Weinberg noted, “This gift is a rousing statement of support for the Whitney’s future building and an immense catalyst for us as we begin construction downtown. We are proud to share this gift with our friends at the Pompidou, and we are profoundly grateful to Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner for recognizing us with their generosity. Their remarkable collection is a testament to their perspicacity, their exceptionally keen eyes, and their central role in the art world over the past several decades. Their gift strengthens the Whitney’s permanent collection in extraordinary ways.”

For Alain Seban: “This gift will definitely extend the scope of the international representation of contemporary artists at the Centre Pompidou. The works gathered by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner give a wide but also focused approach to European art in the first decades of the twenty-first century.”

Alfred Pacquement, director of the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, commented: “The majority of the artists in the portion of the gift to be received by the Centre Pompidou Foundation are not yet represented at the Centre Pompidou and will be a significant enhancement. We are privileged that Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner have selected the Centre Pompidou Foundation and that the Centre Pompidou will benefit from their choice. We will work with great pleasure with our colleagues at the Whitney Museum.”

Ms. Westreich Wagner and Mr. Wagner noted, “For many years now we’ve collected with the idea of eventually donating our collection. The combination of the Whitney and the Pompidou provides the ideal permanent home for the artists we’ve collected and whom we so deeply admire. We’re very excited for the artists, and otherwise thrilled to be making this announcement.

The Whitney Museum is located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York City. Museum hours are: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday. General admission: $18. Full-time students and visitors ages 19–25 and 62 & over: $12. Visitors 18 & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 6–9 p.m. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org

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