The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University has announced the receipt of a $1 million endowment from Lisa and Steven Tananbaum to endow a curator position in the museum’s modern and contemporary art program.

“Lisa and Steven Tananbaum are deeply devoted to public appreciation of the art of our time and are dedicated supporters of Northwestern and its commitment to making the arts part of the educational experience of all of its students,” said Lisa Corrin, the museum’s director. “We are extraordinarily grateful to them for this visionary gift.”

Janet Dees will be the inaugural Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Dees joined the Block team in 2015 from SITE Santa Fe, where she served as the Eugene Thaw Curatorial Fellow, assistant curator and curator of contemporary art.

Earlier this year, she curated the Block’s “If You Remember, I’ll Remember” exhibition. She is currently preparing the 2018 exhibition “Experiments in Form: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Frank Stella.” Dees is completing a Ph.D. in art history at the University of Delaware, focusing on the performance art of Linda Montano and Adrian Piper.

“The Tananbaums’ gift will help advance our capacity to present major exhibitions and to commission new work by artists working internationally who will be invited to campus to interact with faculty and students and be nourished by the extraordinary resources of Northwestern,” Corrin said. “Our faculty and students across the University are extremely enthusiastic about engaging with artists and the creative process. The Block’s contemporary program is also adding to the vibrancy of Chicago’s cultural scene.”

Lisa Munster Tananbaum is a 1986 graduate of Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, where she majored in political science with interdisciplinary interests in art history and studio art. Following graduation, she worked in commercial real estate as well as public administration.

Steven Tananbaum is founder, managing partner and chief investment officer of GoldenTree Asset Management LP. A graduate of Vassar College, he is a past trustee and supports the school’s Tananbaum Family Leadership Program for Work and Development, a summer fellowship opportunity.

Lisa and Steven Tananbaum are significant collectors of postwar and contemporary art, appearing frequently on ARTnews’ “Top 200 Collectors” list.

This endowment is the couple’s second gift to Northwestern University, after supporting the Summer Internship Grant Program, to fund undergraduate student internships.

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