Prominent art collector Agnes Gund recently sold Roy Lichtenstein’s “Masterpiece” for a cool $165 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for a painting. According to the Ford Foundation, $100 million of that will go to establish The Art for Justice Fund, a criminal justice organization whose mission is to reduce mass incarceration, reports Robin Pogrebin.
Gund, who has six African-American grandchildren, told The New York Times that “she has worried about their future as they’ve matured, particularly in light of shootings of black teenagers like Trayvon Martin in Florida.”
Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” and Ana DuVernay’s documentary “13th,” inspired her interest in the American criminal justice system and mass incarceration.
“This is one thing I can do before I die,” Ms. Gund told The Times in an interview at her Upper East Side apartment. “This is what I need to do.”
Ms. Gund and the Ford Foundation will administer the fund, and both are urging other art collectors to follow her lead, in the hopes of raising an another $100 million over five years.