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MoMA Receives $50 M. Gift From Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to Support Expansion

Steve Cohen.

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The collector and hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen and his wife, Alexandra Cohen, are the latest big-money contributors to the Museum of Modern Art’s capital campaign for new exhibition space. The institution announced today that the couple’s foundation has given $50 million in unrestricted funds.

“Steven and Alex Cohen are incredible philanthropists, whose longtime generosity to the museum exemplifies their deep commitment to sharing the art of our time with the widest possible audience,” MoMA’s director, Glenn D. Lowry, said in a statement. “This gift will have an extraordinary impact on our ability to present exhibitions at a scale that is virtually unprecedented.”

The gift comes a year after Cohen joined MoMA’s board, and there’s the added bonus of naming rights to a sixth floor space—it will be dubbed the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions.

“We are proud to support the Museum of Modern Art, its renovation, and its expansion,” Cohen said. “We are excited to see how this gift and the Cohen Center will allow the museum to bring new and even greater artistic experiences to visitors.”

MoMA has set up a capital campaign in order to pay for a massive renovation and expansion, which is set to be completed by 2019. The $400 million project got a major jolt last year, when the Los Angeles collector David Geffen gave $100 million four months after Chicago collector Ken Griffin gave $40 million.

The news comes as Cohen is gearing up to return to the hedge fund game after getting sidelined in 2013 by securities fraud charges. That speed bump resulted in $1.2 billion in fines and a ban on managing outside funds, but a deal reached in 2016 set him up for a 2018 comeback. His new fund—now named Point72 Asset Management, rest in peace SAC Capital—is expected to pursue $20 billion in funding, a record.

But this hasn’t curbed his art-buying habits. It was revealed earlier this month that Cohen bought Roy Lichtenstein’s Masterpiece (1962) for $165 million from Agnes Gund, who plans to use $100 million from the deal to start a criminal justice reform fund.

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