Guggenheim Museum Says It Won’t Accept Gifts From Sackler Family – News


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York mentioned on Friday that it didn’t plan to simply accept future items from the household of Mortimer D. Sackler, a philanthropist and former board member whose cash has been met with rising unease within the artwork world as his household’s pharmaceutical pursuits have been linked to the opioid disaster.

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The Guggenheim’s determination was introduced in the future after Tate, which runs a number of the most essential artwork museums in Britain, introduced an identical transfer, saying that “within the current circumstances we don’t assume it proper to hunt or settle for additional donations from the Sacklers.”

Earlier this week, Britain’s Nationwide Portrait Gallery additionally spurned the Sackler household, saying it could not settle for a long-discussed $1.three million donation from one of many household’s foundations, the London-based Sackler Belief.

The Guggenheim introduced its determination on Friday in a short assertion that didn’t point out the opioid disaster or Mr. Sackler’s previous on the museum’s board. A museum spokeswoman declined on Friday night time to elucidate its rationale for the transfer or its decision-making course of.

Within the assertion, the museum mentioned family members had donated $9 million to the Guggenheim between 1995 and 2015, together with $7 million to determine and assist the Sackler Middle for Arts Schooling. The spokeswoman mentioned the middle’s identify was contractual and the museum had no plans to vary it.

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“No contributions from the Sackler household have been obtained since 2015,” the assertion mentioned. “No further items are deliberate, and the Guggenheim doesn’t plan to simply accept any items.”

Representatives for the Sackler household had been initially unaware on Friday of the Guggenheim’s determination, which was earlier reported by the web site HyperAllergic. A spokeswoman for Mortimer D. Sackler mentioned in an announcement that the household’s dedication to philanthropy had not wavered.

“It has been a privilege for Mortimer Sackler to serve on the Guggenheim’s board of trustees for almost 20 years and to assist the important work of the museum,” the assertion mentioned.

“For greater than half a century, a number of generations of Sacklers have supported revered establishments that play essential roles in well being, analysis, training, the humanities and the humanities and stay dedicated to doing so,” it mentioned. “Sadly, the present local weather of litigation has created false impressions that we’re working to clear up.”

Mr. Sackler’s spokeswoman mentioned he stepped down from the Guggenheim board final 12 months as a result of he was “overextended.” A spokeswoman for the Guggenheim mentioned the museum didn’t touch upon issues of board governance.

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The choice by a collection of main establishments to spurn items by the Sacklers, main donors on each side of the Atlantic, is a potent signal of the deepening disquiet inside the artwork world over the household’s connection to the opioid disaster.

Members of the Sackler household personal Purdue Pharma, the producer of OxyContin, a strong and enormously worthwhile painkiller whose aggressive advertising and marketing within the 1990s is broadly seen as a root reason behind the opioid disaster. In 2007, Purdue’s father or mother firm pleaded responsible to a federal felony cost of misbranding OxyContin with the intent to defraud or mislead.

The corporate presently faces tons of of lawsuits over its hyperlinks to the opioid disaster, and a smaller variety of lawsuits has been filed in opposition to particular person members of the Sackler household. Greater than 200,000 individuals have died in america during the last twenty years from overdoses of prescription opioids.

The Sacklers have donated substantial sums of cash to cultural establishments in Europe and america via 5 foundations which were run by relations, together with Mortimer and Raymond Sackler, brothers who served as co-chief executives of Purdue.

(The descendants of a 3rd brother and co-owner of Purdue, Arthur Sackler, have mentioned they haven’t profited from the sale of OxyContin as a result of his shares had been purchased by Mortimer and Raymond earlier than it was invented, in keeping with The New Yorker.)

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Family members have donated hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to cultural establishments for the reason that 1970s, and their beneficiant giving continued after OxyContin hit the market in 1996. In some years, the Mortimer D. Sackler Basis has listed Purdue Pharma as one in all its sources of cash.

Final month, Daniel Weiss, the president and chief govt of the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York, mentioned in an announcement that it valued its longstanding relationship with the Sackler household, whose identify is on the wing housing the museum’s showpiece Temple of Dendur.

However he mentioned the museum was “presently partaking in an extra overview of our detailed present acceptance insurance policies, and we could have extra to report sooner or later.”

“The Sackler household has been linked with the Met for greater than a half century,” Mr. Weiss’s assertion mentioned. “The household is a big prolonged group and their assist of The Met started a long time earlier than the opioid disaster.”

A spokesman for the Met mentioned on Friday that it had nothing so as to add to Mr. Weiss’s assertion.


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