NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Goldman Sachs
FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture
OVERVIEW: After retiring from Goldman Sachs, Artur Walter pursued his interests in architecture, design, and photography and studied at the International Center of Photography. He established the Walther Collection in Germany and New York and supports arts institutions via his Walther Family Foundation.
BACKGROUND: Born in Germany, Artur Walther attended University of Regensburg and then Harvard Business School before going to work on Wall Street. He joined Goldman Sachs, where he made partner, before retiring in the 1990s.
ARTS AND CULTURE: Walther left Goldman Sachs in 1994 and since that time has followed his passion for the arts. Walther has been collecting African photography for some two decades, amassing what may be the world’s largest collection in the field. He opened his museum, The Walther Collection, in Germany in 2010 and the New York project space in 2011. A recent exhibition is titled “Recent Histories - New African Photography.” The collection has featured the works of artists like Zhang Dali, Malick Sidibé, and Zhang Huan.
Walther moves philanthropy through the Walther Family Foundation, a low-profile vehicle in which the Goldman Sachs vet serves as sole trustee. In a recent year, around $171,000 went out the door. The foundation does not have a website but does describe its activities and mission on a recent 990; the foundation “collects and promotes contemporary photographic art across recent historical periods and diverse geographic regions.” Its mission is to “present to the public works of historical and contemporary significance from artists working in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world whose enduring contributions to photography significantly expand the understanding, conception, and history of the medium. “
Walther, via his foundation, has recently directed grants to The Museum of Modern Art, Storefront for Art and Architecture, MoMA, The Met, and Vassar College – The Photography Council. The foundation’s grantmaking also supports outfits abroad in Germany.
LOOKING FORWARD: It’s unclear how much money Walther has waiting in the wings, but expect him to remain strongly focused on the arts.
The Walther Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact, below is an address and phone:
Walther Family Foundation
77 Water St., 9th Fl.
New York City, NY 10005
Telephone: (212) 440-0800