The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has announced a gift of more than three hundred photographic works from the Gayle Greenhill Collection.
Made in memory of Gayle Greenhill, who died in 2017, by her husband, Robert F. Greenhill, the gift includes rare and important works by more than a hundred photographers, including Edward Steichen, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Karl Blossfeldt, Chuck Close, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Jan Groover, André Kertész, Robert Mapplethorpe, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Charles Sheeler, Cindy Sherman, JoAnn Verburg, and Edward Weston. The gift also includes important documentary and press photography, much of it unattributed, including photographs taken during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as photographs of the Wright Brothers' foundational experiments (1903–11) and a comprehensive set of prints by Herbert Ponting documenting Robert F. Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the Antarctic (1910-13). Many of the photographs will form the basis for the Gayle Greenhill Collection at MoMA, while the remainder will be sold to create the Gayle Greenhill Endowment Fund in support of future photography acquisitions and exhibitions.
From 1989 to 2013, Greenhill was deeply involved with the Department of Photography at MoMA and served on the museum's Committee on Photography. The Greenhills previously supported a number of acquisitions, including forty-four works by Lucas Samaras and twenty-eight prints from Robert Frank's landmark series The Americans.
"Gayle's deep love of photography and her longstanding connection to MoMA led us to the decision that this gift would be a fitting way to honor her memory," said Robert Greenhill. "We look forward to future generations being inspired by her example, encouraging a sense of curiosity and engagement that was a hallmark of her connection to the medium of photography and her belief in MoMA's programs."