MoMA Gets Historic Gift of Latin American Art From Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

The contribution includes an impressive array of artists and forms.

Waldemar Cordeiro, Visible Idea (1956). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.
Waldemar Cordeiro, Visible Idea (1956). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

The Museum of Modern Art’s Latin American art holdings got a major lift today with news that top collector and patron Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo, will provide a generous gift of 102 works.

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry, in front of Hélio Oiticica's <i>Painting 9.</i> (1959). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry, in front of Hélio Oiticica’s Painting 9. (1959). Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

As part of the gift, MoMA will establish an eponymous research institute for the study of Latin American art, according to a statement from the museum.

The gift includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper, all made between the 1940s and the 1990s by artists from Brazil, Venezuela, and the Rio de la Plata region of Argentina and Uruguay.

Carlos Cruz-Diez, <i>Project for an Exterior Wall</i> (1954-1965). Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Project for an Exterior Wall (1954-1965). Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

They include Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Jésus Rafael Soto, Alejandro Otero, and Tomás Maldonado. Over the past 16 years, the Cisneroses have already given a total of 40 works.

Patricia is a longtime MoMA trustee and chairman and founder of the museum’s Latin American and Caribbean Fund. In a statement, MoMA said “the breadth of this gift is unprecedented.” The Cisneros Institute, which will be located at MoMA in midtown, will offer opportunities for curatorial research and travel, host visiting scholars and artists, and convene an annual international conference. “It is poised to become the preeminent research center in the field,” according to a statement from the museum, and will build on the institution’s history of collecting, exhibiting, and researching artists from the breadth of the region, dating back to 1931.

MoMA’s collection includes more than 5,000 works by artists from Latin American.


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