MoMA Trustee Lonti Ebers to Launch Amant Foundation in Brooklyn

May 05, 2021

Lonti Ebers, a trustee of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will inaugurate a nonprofit arts center in Brooklyn this summer with the intent of fostering artistic growth and elevating lesser-seen interdisciplinary work. The 21,000-square-foot Amant Foundation will occupy four buildings in the borough’s East Williamsburg neighborhood, where it is to serve as an arts destination and cultural hub. The campus will include two galleries, a performance space, and studios for four resident artists, as well as offices, a bookstore, and a café.

The foundation has been seven years in the making and is reported to have cost over $40 million, exclusive of real estate costs, with megacollector Ebers buying her first parcel of land in 2014, and the remaining three—one of which she described as housing a former plumbing supply business at which mafia members regularly met—shortly thereafter. Redesigned by Brooklyn architectural firm SO-IL, the four buildings remain freestanding, grouped around a large courtyard. Ebers notes that the arrangement “allows for more domestically scaled [interiors] intertwined with walkways and some gardens.”

Led by Ruth Estévez, former senior curator at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and a cocurator of the forthcoming São Paulo Biennial, the foundation will launch its first exhibition June 5. “Grada Kilomba: Heroines, Birds, and Monsters” is to run through October 3 and will mark the US debut of the Portuguese-born, Berlin-based Kilomba, known for her work addressing intergenerational trauma, the transatlantic slave trade, and decolonization.

While the exhibition opens in June, the buildings housing the studios and performance space will open in August. Women predominate the inaugural programming, which features Gala Porras-Kim, Carla Zaccagnini, and Jayne Cortez. Besides studio space, each three-month residency program includes a $3,000 monthly stipend; artists are not required to produce work during their stay.