sfai news

November 12, 2008

SFAI Receives $500,000 in Memory of Art Collector Allan Stone

As a tribute to the memory of her husband Allan Stone—the well-known New York City art dealer and collector who died at the age of seventy-four in December 2006—his wife, Clare Stone, has made a $500,000 gift to SFAI.

“We are grateful to Clare Stone,” said SFAI President Chris Bratton, “for this generous gift and, indeed, the support of the entire Stone family. We are honored to memorialize Allan Stone’s unique contribution to contemporary art on SFAI’s historic 800 Chestnut Street campus, naming a principal studio in the Painting department for him. Allan was ardently interested in the education of young California artists at SFAI, and this, we feel, is a fitting tribute to his extraordinary life and legacy.”

Considered an expert on the work of such painters as, among others, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline, Joseph Cornell, John Chamberlain, and Barnett Newman, Allan Stone was known—indeed, was legendary—for being absolutely passionate about collecting and exhibiting art. During the early 60s, when he opened his gallery in New York City, he organized a number of formidable Abstract Expressionist exhibitions, for which he often commissioned, and contributed to, exhibition catalogues.

“My husband dedicated much of his career to supporting and nurturing young artists. This gift is intended to carry on that legacy. The place he loved the most was the studio,” remarked Mrs. Clare Stone. Stone’s love of the arts extended well beyond the collecting and exhibiting of luminaries such as Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Estes, John Chamberlain, and Alfred Leslie. At SFAI, for example, he is remembered (and will be memorialized) for the instrumental role he played in inspiring and supporting, both materially and morally, young and unfledged artists—in particular, students in the Painting and Sculpture departments—at the beginning of their careers.

Stone’s absolute passion for art is studied and celebrated in the film The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art, the West Coast premiere of which took place at SFAI on Friday, November 7, 2008. Produced and directed by his youngest daughter, Olympia Stone, the film explores Stone’s forty-six-year career as an art gallery owner and his compulsive genius for collecting. The sixty-two-minute film reveals one man’s obsessive submersion in art, influencing and affecting the artists, dealers, and family members with whom he worked and lived. The Allan Stone Gallery, founded in 1960, is currently showing gallery artists at its New York location of 113 East 90th Street, and will also be exhibiting at the Miami Basel International Art Fair the first week of December.

“SFAI is deeply honored and extremely grateful to Mrs. Stone for her most generous gift in memory of her husband, Allan,” Vice President of Institutional Advancement Sue Childers-Kraft commented. “The bestowal of such a gift upon SFAI is a wonderful way to commemorate lives and legacies devoted to the arts and arts education. It’s a gift that will sustain academic opportunity and excellence far into the future.”