The Los Angeles-based film and music mogul David Geffen has donated a staggering $100 million to The Museum of Modern Art for its renovation and expansion programme. This is the largest gift to the institution’s Campaign. Three floors of new galleries, created as part of the Museum’s expansion into the tower being constructed immediately to the west of the Museum at 53 West 53rd Street, will be named The David Geffen Wing. In addition, the fourth-floor suite of galleries in the current museum building will be named The David Geffen Galleries this spring.
The building project will add 50,000 square feet of gallery space, allowing the Museum to reconceive the presentation of its collection and exhibitions, and will provide greater visitor accessibility through the enhancement of the Museum’s public areas. When making the pledge, Mr. Geffen stated, “My passion for art began while visiting The Museum of Modern Art as a young man. Art has been an important part of my life ever since, so I am delighted to lend my support to this exciting effort to celebrate the museum’s history and contribute to its future.”
“David Geffen is an extraordinarily gifted collector and an unstintingly generous philanthropist,” said MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry. “We are honored to recognize his commitment to modern art, and to the city of New York, here at the museum where he first encountered the art that was to have such a deep impact on his life.”
“Whether through his professional success, his discriminating eye and passion for collecting, his unparalleled generosity to arts institutions, or his commitment to education and medical research and clinical practice, David Geffen has changed the cultural, social, and healthcare landscape of this country,” said Marie-Josée Kravis, President of the Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled that his transformative gift to MoMA will support our efforts to grow our audiences and deepen and improve our programs and collections. We are deeply grateful to David, a longtime and loyal MoMA friend.”
One of the most respected and influential executives in the entertainment industry, David Geffen has made an indelible mark on the arenas of film, theater, and, most notably, music over the course of his distinguished career. His professional successes enable him to generously support charitable organizations important to him. As a patron of the arts, David Geffen has made substantial gifts to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Spelman and Morehouse College arts education programs, the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and The USC School of Cinematic Arts, and the Geffen Playhouse. In early 2013 he contributed to The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for the creation of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Numerous other charities receive significant funding from his foundation. Last year, in honor of a $100 million gift, Lincoln Center named its largest concert hall, home to the New York Philharmonic, David Geffen Hall.
His record-setting 2002 donation to the UCLA School of Medicine, now the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was the single largest donation of its kind to a U.S. medical school. A decade later, he once again made history with the creation of The David Geffen Medical Scholarship Fund, which provides four-year financial support to outstanding students. In 2015, Geffen gave UCLA $100 million to establish an innovative on-campus college preparatory school for Los Angeles-area students in grades 6 through 12. Geffen’s total philanthropic support to UCLA exceeds $400 million.