Collecting and patronage with FLAG founder Glenn FuhrmanPublished 29 November 2018
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the non-profit FLAG Art Foundation in New York was founded by Glenn Fuhrman. On this episode of In Other Words, Fuhrman talks how he began collecting art (“I lived in a one-room studio apartment for the first eight and a half years I lived in New York, and spent all my disposable income on art.”), and discusses philanthropy (he and his wife sponsored the creation of the nation’s largest free Wi-Fi network, covering 95 city blocks in Harlem, in 2013).
Fuhrman discusses plans for his own collection—and offers some advice to aspiring collectors as part of this conversation with Amy Cappellazzo (a chairman at Sotheby’s and a co-founder of Art Agency, Partners) and our host Charlotte Burns (executive editor, In Other Words).
Fuhrman, who co-founded and co-manages the private investment firm MSD Capital, also talks about the legacy of FLAG and its future, as well as his views on the art market.
Click here for the full transcript
Charlotte Burns: Hello and welcome to In Other Words, where we cover everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask. I’m your host Charlotte Burns and I’m joined today by Glenn Fuhrman, a man who wears several hats—notably as an art collector who founded The FLAG Art Foundation in New York, and also as a highly successful businessman who’s the co-founder and co-managing partner of MSD Capital.
“I lived in a one room studio apartment for the first eight and a half years I lived in New York, and spent all of my disposable income on art. And I had a very clear view at that time that I could not afford to buy inexpensive art.” – Glenn Fuhrman
We’re also joined by Amy Cappellazzo, a chairman at Sotheby’s and co-founder of Art Agency, Partners.
“One of the things that is a little bit of conundrum in collecting is how do you keep your eye as sharp for young material?” – Amy Cappellazzo
Before we get to today’s episode, here’s your regular reminder to subscribe to our In Other Words newsletter at artagencypartners.com. And now, onto the show.
founder, FLAG Art Foundation
Glenn Fuhrman is the co-founder and co-managing partner of MSD Capital, L.P., an investment firm formed in 1998 which exclusively manages the capital of Michael Dell, his family and a select group of other investors. Previously, Fuhrman was a managing director and head of the special investments group at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Fuhrman is a trustee of The Museum of Modern Art and The TATE Americas Foundation and a Board member of The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. He is also a board member of the 92nd St. Y, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.
In 2013, Fuhrman and his wife Amanda sponsored the creation of the nation’s largest free Wi-Fi network covering 95 city blocks in Harlem, NYC.
Fuhrman’s interest in art began his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania when he signed up for Art History 101. Ultimately, he graduated as a finance major having taken 3 finance courses and 11 art history classes.
In 2007 Fuhrman founded The FLAG Art Foundation as an independent exhibition space organizing 4-6 shows a year, each typically curated by a different curator. FLAG is open to the public and located on 25th St. in New York City’s Chelsea Art District. FLAG celebrated its 10th anniversary with a major exhibition of the work of Ellsworth Kelly and a second show featuring a group of mid-career artists working in a related, abstract context. FLAG is about to co-Publish a catalogue documenting its first decade to be released by Gregory R. Miller & Co. in November 2018.
Co-founder of Art Agency, Partners; Executive Vice President, Chairman, Fine Art Division
Amy Cappellazzo is Executive Vice President, Chairman, Fine Art Division at Sotheby’s. Prior to assuming the role, she was a Principal of Art Agency, Partners, which she co-founded. She previously served as a market leader in the field of contemporary art during a tenure of almost thirteen years at Christie’s, where she rose to the post of Chairman of Post-War & Contemporary Development.
While at Christie’s, Cappellazzo was a steward for the sale of some of the most important collections of our time, and she continues to act as a fiduciary for numerous families, foundations and trusts. Additionally, she served as a pioneer in private sales at Christie’s as well as online auctions, the latter through a partnership she fostered with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. During a period when the contemporary art market exploded from what was largely a European and American epicenter to a fully global stage, Cappellazzo directed groundbreaking initiatives at Christie’s that led to record results, with upward of $650m realized in a single evening sale.
Prior to tenure at Christie’s, Cappellazzo was an art advisor, a curator and a key figure in the establishment of Art Basel in Miami Beach.
Cappellazzo received her B.A. in Fine Arts/Art History from New York University, where she was a Presidential Trustee Scholar. She holds a master’s degree in Urban Design from the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute, where she focused on the role of public art in shaping cities. She is a noted Bloomberg expert, speaking internationally on the global art market, and has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, UCLA, Stanford University and the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. In 2012, she was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the board of the New York State Council on the Arts.
executive editor of In Other Words
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.
For more on Glenn Fuhrman and FLAG Foundation
“Top 10 Private Contemporary Art Museums in the US” by Sarah Cascone in Artnet (2015)
Interview with Seth Orion Schwaiger in The Austin Chronicle (2014)
The live record
Behind the scenes with Glenn Fuhrman, Amy Cappellazzo and Charlotte Burns