When companies decide to give something back to the community, it can come in many guises, but not often as aesthetically and some might say, soulfully uplifting as the Doris and the late Don Fisher, founders of Gap.
The Fishers own one of America’s most important private collections of Modern Art. This year they agreed to lend, on an unspecified but very long-term basis, some of their multi-million pound modern art collection, to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SMOMA.)
This gesture will allow the public access to some pivotal works that were previously only seen by privileged San Francisco Gap employees. During a recent trip to the city, I was allowed into the onsite gallery in their huge headquarters. Many of the Fisher works were in carts being ready for transit. However I was still able to witness those that hadn’t been packed.
On entry, a security guard gazed at me with arms folded. When my smile wasn’t returned, it became apparent this was actually an eerily, lifelike sculptor, by the artist Duane Hanson.
Once I’d got over the shock and on realising that I had lone access to the collection, I surveyed the scene… with jaw on the floor.
A number of key Andy Warhol pieces were scattered around, as well as pieces byAlexander Calder, Chuck Close, Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter and Richard Serra.
My heart skipped a beat when on turning another corner I was faced with the black hole – Vortex by Anish Kapoor. It was absolutely incredible.
Whilst most of us eat at our desks, Gap employees in San Francisco can nip into their ground floor gallery and enjoy at close hand, this awe inspiring collection. Thanks to the Fisher’s, very soon the rest of the city will be able to as well. Beats nipping to Boots at lunch!