Angela Hill, Oakland Tribune, October 9, 2014
Bruce Beasley has bequeathed his two-block cluster of studios and sculpture gardens -- plus many of his own massive abstract works, personal archives of his illustrious career and an endowment for future sculpture-related events and programs -- to the Oakland Museum of California.
The gift, said to be unprecedented by a living artist, is valued at about $20 million, making it the largest single private gift in the museum's 45-year history. Beasley and museum officials will reveal details of the plan on Thursday morning during a reception at the artist's Lewis Street studios -- someday to be called the Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center.
Beasley says the relationship with the Oakland museum is a "logical marriage," considering his deep ties to Oakland where he's lived, worked as a community activist, and created massive sculptures since bursting into the art world in 1962 at the height of the abstract sculpture movement. However, the timing of the gift is certainly not set in stone, as it rests on the advent of Beasley's death, which may be a long time coming.
"You've seen how healthy he is -- when this actually transpires, I hope to be long retired by then," joked Lori Fogarty, OMCA's executive director. In the meantime, some prototype studio tours and community events may begin as early as 2015.
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