Richard Armstrong on Legacy

Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Richard Armstrong Discusses Legacy, Responsibility and Looking to the Long Term

Amidst a ceaseless avalanche of production, great art collections preserve the achievements that truly matter. In this short video, Director of the Guggenheim Museum Richard Armstrong reflects on the responsibility that collectors and leaders bear to future generations in bequeathing them the best of our age.

Armstrong believes that through the act of collecting today we offer a compass for the society of tomorrow to interpret our times. What we choose to save – and what we allow to be lost – is revealing, and it was in this light that the need to authentically live up to the museum's international aspirations became increasingly clear. Through the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, the Guggenheim has acquired not only important artworks but also deep-rooted knowledge and connections with parts of the world previously under-represented within its collection. It was a path that required humility, inquisitiveness and ambition, Armstrong says, but one which "made our universe much more multi-dimensional."

"I'd suggest to the collector: be deeply committed to what it is that you're doing; be humble and recognize that you will make what people call mistakes. They're not really mistakes at all; They're revelations. They teach you about yourself."

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