The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has received a gift of 31 paintings, sculptures, and drawings by 20 American artists from ARTnews Top 200 Collectors Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida. The donation includes pieces by Elizabeth Catlett, Beauford Delaney, Norman Lewis, Richard Mayhew, and other artists.
Neal Benezra, the director of SFMOMA who announced earlier this year that he will step down from the helm of the institution, said in a statement, “These important works strengthen the museum’s collection in critical ways and allow us to present a richer, more expansive picture of art history.”
Based in the Bay Area, Joyner and Giuffrida are known worldwide for their collection of abstract works by Black artists of several generations. Giving advice to collectors starting out in the field, Joyner, who joined the board of SFMOMA in 2020, once said, “Figure out where the vacuum is, where the void is, where the need is. So whatever the void is, find the need and fill the gap.”
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Joyner collaborated with former SFMOMA senior curator of painting and sculpture Gary Garrels in selecting works that would fill historical gaps in the institution’s own collection. Joyner said in a statement that the museum “is playing a major role by contextualizing these works where they always should have hung. That is a major rewriting of art history to tell the whole story.”
“This group of artists was written out of mid-century modernist history only because they were Black,” Joyner said in a statement. “What I want visitors to take away is that there were people of color not only working in the field, but defining the character of the movement at that time.”
View a selection of works from the gift in the following slideshow.