Still, both share an appreciation for Miss Porter's, an esteemed all-girls boarding school in Connecticut which prioritizes diversity via an array of scholarships. (Winfrey sent her niece to the school, which she also used as the model for the all-girls boarding school in South Africa that she founded in 2007; Gund graduated from Miss Porter's in 1956. ) Now, they're giving those scholarships an extra boost by working with Sotheby's to donate the full proceeds of the 40 works featured in "By Women, For Tomorrowâ€™s Women" to the school's financial aid. (Ahead of the auction on March 1, all of the works, including one by Bourgeois, plus artists like Carmen Herrera, Carrie Mae Weems, Cindy Sherman, and Jenny Holzer, will first go on display in an exhibition that's free and open to the public at Sotheby's in New York.
Last year, the New York Times posed a weighty question: "Is Agnes Gund the Last Good Rich Person? " The 81-year-old art collector, philanthropist, and president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art is a true art world powerhouseâ€”and now she's joining forces with Oprah Winfrey, on the first-ever major auction to feature entirely women artists.
But, Gund insisted,"there is hope"â€”particularly in terms of leadership roles in the art world, which she's hoping to help balance out herself soon in naming Klaus Biesenbach's successor as the director of MoMA PS1, who she "certainly hopes" will end up being a woman. "The women on the board say, and are right to say, that as long as they're good, it doesn't matter, and that's the way I have to think, too," Gund said. "But personally, I'm really anxious for it to be a woman.