The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania mourns the loss of Keith L. Sachs (1945–2018), whose 2016 transformative gift with wife Katherine Sachs, the largest ever made in support of the arts at Penn, created the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, to empower and energize artistic expression and innovation at Penn. In 2005, the Sachses established the Guest Curator Program which enabled ICA to invite outside curators to expand its program. Virgil Marti, Christian Marclay, Kara Walker, and most recently Nayland Blake are among the distinguished artists who have organized exhibitions.
“Keith Sachs will be remembered not only for his profound gifts, but for his vision, which enabled artists to take on a curatorial role at the ICA. As an artist focused institution, this was an incredible opportunity for us. From the inception of our Guest Curator program, Keith was extremely involved with each invitation and urged us all to consider the impact on both the audiences we serve and the field at large,” says Amy Sadao, ICA Director. “For me personally, Keith and Kathy have been invaluable sources of knowledge and support and showed me, when my tenure first began, how inextricably woven contemporary art is in the fabric of this city. Keith truly believed in the power of art to have a lasting contribution to humanity. Through his generosity we are able to continue to carry this vision forward in our programming. He will be greatly missed.”