The Chicago Tribune reports that Lisa and Steven Tananbaum have given Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art a $1 million gift. This will allow the institution to expand its programming and permanently establish the position of the Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The post will be filled by Janet Dees, who came to the Block Museum in 2015 after serving as the Eugene Thaw Curatorial Fellow, assistant curator, and later curator of contemporary art at SITE Santa Fe. Dees organized the Block’s “If You Remember, I’ll Remember” exhibition from earlier this year. She is preparing “Experiments in Form: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Frank Stella” for the museum in 2018.
“The Tananbaums’ gift will help advance our capacity to present major exhibitions and to commission new work by artists working internationally who will be invited to campus to interact with faculty and students and be nourished by the extraordinary resources of Northwestern. Our faculty and students across the university are extremely enthusiastic about engaging with artists and the creative process. The Block’s contemporary program is also adding to the vibrancy of Chicago’s cultural scene,” said Lisa Corrin, the Block Museum’s Ellen Philip Katz Director.
The Tananbaums have a major collection of postwar and contemporary art, with pieces by Brice Marden, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, and Andreas Gursky. They are also benefactors of a number of different institutions, such as New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.