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Met announces huge donation from Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang: NPR


The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the museum’s budget. But this historic gift will allow him to expand his collection of modern and contemporary art.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images


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Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Met announces huge donation from Oscar Tang and Agnes Hsu-Tang: NPR

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the museum’s budget. But this historic gift will allow him to expand his collection of modern and contemporary art.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Even before the pandemic, money was tight at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But now the museum has announced its biggest capital donation ever: $ 125 million. The money will fund a renovation of the modern wing of the museum, which will include the creation of 80,000 square feet of galleries and public spaces. The ambitious project has been talked about for more than a decade, but had to be delayed due to lack of funds.

The benefactors of the museum are administrator Oscar Tang and his wife, Agnes Hsu-Tang, and the new space will bear their names.

Oscar Tang is a retired financier and co-founder of the investment management firm Reich & Tang. His previous philanthropic work included donations to the New York Philharmonic and the Phillips Academy Andover, which he attended. Agnes Hsu-Tang is an archaeologist and art historian, and a senior researcher at Columbia University. She previously served on the scientific committees of the UNESCO World Heritage Center.

“The accomplishments and generosity of Oscar and Agnes are impressive,” Met director Max Hollein said in a press release. “The reinvention of these galleries will allow the Museum to approach the art of the 20th and 21st centuries from a global, encyclopedic, daring and surprising point of view, all values ​​which reflect the heritage of Oscar and Agnes.

How to bring this huge project to fruition is a question Hollein has been wrestling with since taking over as director in 2018. The pandemic has affected the budgets of every museum across the country – the Met even predicted a budget shortfall of 150 million dollars last year. Despite this, museum executives sparked some controversy in the art world when they announced that they would take advantage of the newly relaxed guidelines to sell certain works of art in order to make money (“transfer As it is called in museums. Talk).

The move drew criticism even from Hollein’s predecessor, Thomas Campbell, who compared museum surrender works to “crack for the addict – a quick hit, which becomes addictive.”

Hollein responded in an interview with NPR earlier this year, saying, “I don’t think this is a slippery slope. I think the slippery slope would be more if we, as museums, were to tap into our endowment, our funds that we have operations, and decrease them because that would then have huge long term effects. “

The architectural firm for the new wing will be announced in 2022.




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