The philanthropist and collector Barbara Lee is giving the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston 20 works by 12 female artists, with a value estimated at $42 million; the largest value gift in the museum’s history.
Ms. Lee’s gifts with be added to the museum’s “Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women”, which was established in 2014 after Lee donated 43 other works by women. This year’s gift, in 2015, includes sculptures, installation works and paintings by major figures such as Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, Sherrie Levine and Kara Walker.
The institute said the collection represents three decades of collecting by Ms. Lee. In a statement, Ms. Lee said that her gifts “put women front and center” at the institute. Ms. Lee, who promotes women in contemporary art, is also a political activist who helps women run for elected office. She is vice chair of the Institute of Contemporary Art’s board of trustees. Jill Medvedow, the institute’s director, said the collection allows the museum “to tell urgent and undertold histories of postwar and contemporary art.”