Katherine and Keith L. Sachs this December donated 97 pieces from their private collection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Experts estimate the cash value of this donation to be around $70 million.
PMA calls this gift the single largest they've received in decades. It consists of paintings, video art pieces, sculptures and photos dated between 1950 and the present. Work by German and British artists dominates the collection.
Though the museum anticipates an expansion, PMA Curator Tim Rub told the The New York Times he wasn't sure they would have enough room to exhibit this newly donated collection in its entirety. The museum this year approved LA architect Frank Ghery's plan to renovate and add "some 223,000 square feet of additional gallery space," according to the Times.
The Sachs family has been part of Philadelphia's art community for decades, mostly by way of the University of Pennsylvania. A 2011 UPenn Almanac article, publicizing a $2.5 million gift from the family to their School of Design, offers some insight into the couple's larger philanthropic agenda. They seek to make the arts "more accessible across the University and throughout the region... [and] encourage collaborative interaction among departments and centers."
Katherine Sachs did public relations for the PMA in the 1970s, then later worked for them as a guide. She contributes scholarly research on exhibitions and is a former Penn trustee who now sits on the board Institute of Contemporary Art.
Keith L. Sachs is a graduate of Upenn Wharton and formerly CEO of Saxco International LLC, a company that distributes packing materials to alcoholic beverage producers. He now sits on UPenn School of Design's board of overseers, is a Penn trustee, and also chairs on several committees at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.