Don Fisher founded The Gap in San Francisco back in 1969. Around the same time he and his wife Doris began collecting art. They had no real idea what they were doing, they just picked things that they liked. It helped that they could afford the like of Warhol, de Kooning and Lichtenstein. In fact, they own own of the finest and most extensive personal collections of modern art in the world (The amazing Barnes Collection of Impressionist art — which I was privileged to see one of only three times it was exhibited outside of the Barnes Estate being another).
For years the couple has been trying to build a museum to make their 1,000-piece collection public, only to be shot down by the City of San Francisco. Last September, 2 days before he died, Don Fisher reached a deal with SF MOMA to loan them the entire collection for the next 100 years.
Over the past few months SF MOMA has quietly raised $250 Million to expand the museum to triple its current size. When completed it will rival the New York MoMA and London’s TATE Museum as one of the foremost museums of modern art in the world. Think what you will about The Gap, but take another look at its founder and the legacy he is leaving our fair city — including commissioning art by artists that the City rejected for special projects and making them free and publicly available at his Gap headquarters, and the controversial giant Oldenburg bow and arrow at the foot of Market street.
Bonus question: who designed the original Gap logo, pictured above behind Don & Doris Fisher?