Jeff Koons, Gagosian Gallery, and other art institutions in the United States received millions of dollars from the government

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Larry Gagosian and Jeff Koons

Assistance was received as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was developed so that organizations could retain their staff. On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, the US government released a list of organizations that received interest-free loans under the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program).

The program was designed to help organizations with less than 500 employees. The goal of the program was to preserve jobs in these organizations. An additional condition for obtaining financial support was the lack of access to other sources of income in a pandemic.

However, the list of organizations that have received financial support raises questions. Thus, the Whitney Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art received financial assistance under the program from $ 5 million to $ 10 million. Despite the fact that the first one had already laid off 76 employees, and the San Francisco Museum laid off hundreds of employees in March, and then reduced staff by another 55 people in June. Phillips and Bonhams auction houses received from $ 2 million to $ 5 million. It is obvious that they have other sources of income.

 

Assistance ranging from $ 1 million to $ 2 million was received by Jeff Koons’s studio, one of whose works recently left the auction for a record $ 8 million, the Artnet portal, as well as several museums in New York. Interest-free loans ranging from $ 350 thousand to $ 1 million were received by Blum & Poe, Hauser & Wirth, 303 Gallery, Gladstone Gallery, Jack Shainman Gallery, Lisson Gallery, Luhring Augustine, Marlborough Gallery, Matthew Marks, and Kasmin.

Artists Dan Colen, Daniel Arsham, Sterling Ruby, and others, known for their contracts with major galleries and collaborations with well-known organizations (Arsham, for example, collaborates with many brands – from Dior to Uniqlo), received at least $ 150 thousand each.

The distribution of funds under this program raises a lot of questions, and the publication of the data turned out to be so resonant that the US Treasury Department asked organizations that did not meet the terms of the program to return the funds received.

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