Keith and Kathy Sachs’ $4 Million Gifts to ICA and History of Art
Katherine Stein Sachs (CW ’69) and Keith L. Sachs (W 67’), have established a professorship in contemporary art in the department of the history of art and provided for guest-curated exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The total gift is $4 million.
The Sachs Professorship in Contemporary Art is intended to strengthen ties between the history of art department and the ICA, the only contemporary-art museum at an Ivy League institution.
The Sachs Guest Curator Program will enable ICA to select outside curators to work with ICA staff and Penn to organize and present major exhibitions for ICA main exhibition space. Each guest curator will give a lecture series, work with students and help produce a catalog to accompany the exhibition.
Their gift also establishes a fund for contemporary-art programming, including seminars, conferences, lectures, performances and other events to raise the profile of contemporary art on campus and also further position Penn as an arts center.
“We’re very happy to be able to provide the basis for strengthening the teaching of contemporary art at Penn while at the same time deepening the ties between the University and the ICA,” Keith Sachs said.
“We see the ICA functioning as a laboratory for the art history department in much the same way as HUP does for the School of Medicine,” said Kathy Sachs.
“We are delighted by this generous gift from two proud Penn alums which will greatly enhance Penn’s strength in contemporary art education and scholarship,” said President Amy Gutmann. “The Sachs’ philanthropy will benefit Penn students for years to come and integrate our ICA seamlessly into Penn’s educational mission.”
“Great universities must teach students how to ‘read’ in a world where vast quantities of visual information come at them through the media and over high-speed networks,” said Dr. David Brownlee, chair of the department of the history of art. “Contemporary art has flourished in this optically saturated environment, and its study can show students how to be critical readers of what they see, while introducing them to some of the most important ideas of our time.”
“Adding a dedicated professor in contemporary art and having an outside curatorial voice will not only further our mission,” said Claudia Gould, ICA director, “but also establish our identity as a leader in the field of contemporary art.”
Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 11, November 8, 2005