Current 25: Linda Pace (1945-2007)

1991-1995

Art philanthropy in the U.S. is dominated by big names — the Guggenheims and Whitneys of previous generations, the Broads today. Rich collectors all, but living in a world that places patrons in one room, artists in another: only art passes through the door in the dividing wall. San Antonio is a different place, and Linda Pace was a different sort of art patron. The founder of Artpace San Antonio was a practicing artist who was fascinated by the dream world, working often in drawings and assemblage. Being both an artist and a collector, the heir to Pace Foods envisioned an art center of a more painterly disposition — an artist residency, education center, and project space — rather than a collecting museum. Opened in 1995 with exhibitions organized by guest curator Robert Storr, the then-senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Artpace is “a creative laboratory” that pairs guest curators and artists from Texas and around the world in guest residencies that result in intriguing, site-specific exhibitions. Although Pace succumbed to breast cancer in 2007, much of her legacy, thanks to continuing work of the Pace Foundation, has yet to be dreamed.

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