Agnes Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, sold Roy Lichtenstein’s 1962 work Masterpiece, to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The New York Times confirmed the sale, noting that the painting becomes one of the 15 most expensive pieces of art known to have been sold.
The Times revealed that Gund sold the piece “for a specific purpose: to create a fund that supports criminal justice reform and seeks to reduce mass incarceration in the United States.”
“This is one thing I can do before I die,” Gund, 78, told the NY Times. “This is what I need to do.”
“The criminal justice system in its current state — particularly in its treatment of people of color — is unfair and unjust,” Gund said in a statement from the Ford Foundation.
The new fund will issue grants to groups and individuals working on issues of criminal justice reform.