SFMOMA announced in a press release this afternoon that it has received an unprecedented number of promised gifts of art from nine leading Bay Area collectors as part of a donor-lead campaign to strengthen the museum's collection. 195 works from artists as diverse as Cy Twombly, Cindy Sherman, Jackson Pollock, Jeff Koons and Richard Tuttle will now be become part of the museum's permanent holdings.

Considering the other 1,100 significant works the museum acquired when it took over the Fisher Collection in September 2009, SFMOMA is now looking at a pretty high stack of bluechips. Some highlights of the recent windfall include:

  • A major concentration of 30 sculptures and works on paper by Joseph Beuys.
  • Works by Japanese postwar photographers Yayoi Kusama, Daido Moriyama, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Shomei Tomatsu, whose 2006 SFMOMA retrospective was one of the museum's outstanding photography shows of recent memory.
  • Twelve "outstanding works" by Bruce Nauman, three of which were made in the 1960s when he lived and worked in the Bay Area.
  • Multiple or signature pieces by a who's who of modern and contemporary art, including, in addition to the aforementioned artists, Francis Bacon, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Georg Baselitz, Robert Gober, Eva Hesse , Sigmar Polke, Ed Ruscha, Thomas Schütte, Richard Tuttle, and Luc Tuymans.

Unfortunately, the public will have to wait a few years before being able to see any of these pieces. SFMOMA plans to showcase these works, as well as future gifts to their Collections Campaign, in 2016, once the major expansion, designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta is complete.

(by Matt Sussman)