The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that Michael ByungJu Kim has committed $10 million to support the renovation of the Museum’s Oscar L. and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang Wing for modern and contemporary art.
In celebration of the outstanding gift, the Museum will name a gallery in the new wing the Michael B. Kim and Kyung Ah Park Gallery, after Mr. Kim and his wife Kyung Ah Park.
The Met announced plans to fully reimagine the current modern and contemporary galleries in November 2021. Led by architect Frida Escobedo, the project will create 80,000 square feet of galleries and public space. The Met has been seeking to revamp the Modern Wing for more than a decade.
“We are enormously grateful to Michael Kim for his exceptional generosity, which will contribute to a landmark next chapter for The Met’s presentation of the art of the 20th-century and beyond,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO. “This new gift from a deeply-valued trustee gives the project important momentum, as it moves us even closer to realizing the extraordinary and dynamic vision for the new Tang Wing for Modern and Contemporary Art.”
“At a moment of ever-increasing interest in the contemporary art world—and especially in the powerful Korean contemporary art scene—Michael Kim’s gift is a strong signal of support for a truly global representation of the art of the 20th- and 21st-century at The Met,” added Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director of The Met.
“Mr. Kim’s incredible commitment to the Museum and the Tang Wing project is inspiring and tremendously appreciated. We are honored to build a gallery in his and Kyung Ah Park’s name and look forward to displaying exciting new interpretations of the art of our time in the space as part of the reimagined Tang Wing.”
“The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a preeminent global institution that connects art across time and space,” said Mr. Kim. “As a long-time supporter of The Met’s mission, I consider it an honor to contribute to its future with this gift, particularly in a venue that will bring together contemporary art, and visitors, from around the world.”
Mr. Kim has served as an Elective Trustee at The Met since 2017 and is a member of several committees, including the Acquisitions, Human Resource, and Investment Committees, as well as the Asian Art Visiting Committee.
Michael ByungJu Kim is Chairman and Founder of MBK Partners, a North Asia private equity firm. Prior to MBK Partners, Mr. Kim was President of Carlyle Asia Partners and a member of The Carlyle Group’s Management Committee. Before Carlyle, he was managing director and COO of Asia-Pacific Investment Banking for Salomon Smith Barney and an executive director at Goldman Sachs & Co.
Mr. Kim has a B.A. from Haverford College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was also a Fulbright Scholar. He serves on the boards of the MBK Scholarship Foundation, Harvard Business School, Carnegie Hall, and The New York Public Library.
He was named one of Bloomberg’s “50 Most Influential People in the World” in 2015 and Forbes’ “Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy” in 2021. He is the author of the national bestselling novel, Offerings.
The re-imagination of the wing for Modern and Contemporary Art will enable The Met to approach 20th- and 21st-century art from a global, encyclopedic, playful, and surprising perspective. This bold new vision will result in a building that respects and connects with the Museum’s archipelago of architectural styles as well as its spatial organization and infrastructure. Through flexible gallery spaces, the wing will emphasize the interconnectedness of space and time and suggest a non-chronological narrative.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens—businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day—who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy.
The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures