The New York art scene teems with wealthy collectors who mill about at cocktail parties, casually making judgments and freely swiping their black AmEx cards. But among the dilettantes, a veteran stands out. Her name is Agnes Gund. Ms. Gund is synonymous with art philanthropy in New York, a supreme influence in that world for decades. She’s earned that reputation: she has great taste, a great collection, a willingness to make that collection accessible and, of course, the money to enjoy and share art. Ms. Gund is president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, where she has been a board member for nearly 40 years. She was also recently named a member of President Obama’s Board of Trustees of the National Council on the Arts.
Ms. Gund is one of the world’s leading art philanthropists, defined by her generosity, taste and devotion. She funds art education and has donated hundreds of pieces from her impressive collection to MoMA as well as other museums and art institutions in New York and Cleveland. And for all her wealth and achievements, Ms. Gund is entirely unpretentious, a sobering presence in the world of art.