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Lonti Ebers, who lives in New York with her husband, Bruce Flatt, the CEO of Brookfield Asset Management, is generally private about her collection of contemporary art, though it has been revealed there are more than 700 works in her collection. She acquired Alice Neel’s painting Georgie Arce No. 2 (1955) at Sotheby’s New York in May of 2019 for $728,000, a price double its low estimate. Among her various philanthropic pursuits, Ebers has been a longtime supporter of the New Museum in New York.
In 2009, with a Chris Burden retrospective on the horizon, Ebers and Flatt ponied up the funds needed to borrow the artist’s Tower of Power (1985), a sculpture made almost entirely of gold bricks that was at the time worth $3 million. A few years later, she was one of many museum board members to donate toward the New Museum’s expansion, the first phase of which opened in 2018. Ebers has served as vice president of the museum’s board.
In 2018, Ebers launched two artist residency programs—one in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, the other in the Italian village of Chiusure. The Bushwick location has as its designer architect Florian Idenburg, who spearheaded the realization of SANAA’s design for the New Museum in 2008. She imagines the Bushwick space as an “art campus” influenced by the industrial surroundings while the Italian location emphasizes the idyllic. “It’s a really magical area,” Ebers said of the locale. “It’s not about having a collection space,” she told ARTnews. “I want to focus on the artists.”