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Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Receives Native American Collection

originally posted by Philanthropy News Digest
April 5, 2014

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco has received a gift of more than two hundred Native American artifacts from the Thomas W. Weisel Family Art Foundation, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

While neither FAMSF nor the foundation would assign a monetary value to the gift, which includes examples of Southwest textiles dating to the early nineteenth century and ceramics more than a thousand years old, many Native American objects sold at auction in recent years have garnered six- and even seven-figure prices. Approximately a third of the items will be featured in the Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection exhibit, which opens at the de Young Museum on May 3.

“For me everything lined up, having resources like these curators, the building, and the fact that this is an encyclopedic museum,” Thom Weisel, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, told the Chronicle. “Not every museum has in its mission statement that it will collect the arts of the Americas.”

Weisel, who began collecting Native American artifacts decades ago, hopes the gift will be noticed by other collectors. “There are a number of other collectors who are looking for homes for their collections [of American Indian arts],” he said, “and the fact that we’ve got this resource now might be an added attraction, beside what the museum already provides.”

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