SFMOMA receives a gift of 350 works and a $10 million bequest from deceased American trustees


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has received a significant gift from the estate of the late American philanthropists Norah and Norman Stone, which includes approximately 350 contemporary artworks and an unreserved bequest of $10 million to fund future exhibitions and support programs.

The donation includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and design objects, including several works by Marcel Duchamp, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Theaster Gates, Sherrie Levine, Cady Noland and Walid Raad.

Other pieces in the donation, according to Janet Bishop, chief curator and curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA, include “unique gems,” including an embroidery by Alighiero Boetti and large-scale installations by Ai Weiwei and Doug Aitken.

Some of the pieces, which join the museum’s collection of more than 23,000 contemporary works, will rotate in collection galleries starting this summer. The legacy will also fund two exhibitions this year, beginning with an exhibition entitled “ Shift the silence (April 9-September 5).

jeff koons, Large vase of flowers (1991). Norah and Norman Stone’s estate; ©Jeff Koons. Photo: Katherine Du Tiel. Courtesy of SFMOMA.

According to SFMOMA director Neal Benezra, the Stones have been longtime trustees of the museum and have worked with its directors and curators for more than five decades. The couple amassed the bulk of their collection in the 1980s and remained “active in all aspects of the museum and great ambassadors for San Francisco and SFMOMA,” he adds.

In an interview with Architecture Digest In 2016, during a tour of her art-filled San Francisco home, Norah said that collecting art had “brought the couple closer.” In addition to her contributions to SFMOMA, Norah has served on the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and on the Tate International Council in London.

“When SFMOMA launched a collections campaign in 2009, the Stones committed some of the most important works in their collection,” says Bishop, including works by John Baldessari and Joseph Beuys, among others.

She adds: “The additional 350 works in the legacy now complete a transformative gift for the museum […] this will greatly enhance SFMOMA’s ability to organize outstanding contemporary art exhibitions for our visitors in the years to come.”


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