Art lovers Kathy and Keith Sachs offer a long-awaited glimpse into their world-class collection of contemporary works.
Erdtelephon (Earth Telephone), Joseph Beuys (1968–71).
There’s no denying one huge perk of collecting art by living artists: Not only can they discuss their work, they can also become your friends. Kathy and Keith Sachs have been collecting art since they graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1960s. Keith went on to become the CEO of his family’s business, Saxco International, and Kathy worked at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Originally, their collecting served simply to decorate their home in Rydal (and later, an apartment in New York), but they eventually realized their many world-class Minimalist works couldn’t just be for their eyes only: The collection would need to reach a larger audience. And now it has: In January 2014, the couple promised to donate 97 works to the Art Museum; the museum presents a preview of this stellar collection—estimated to be worth around $70 million—from June 28 through September 5 in “Embracing the Contemporary.” Kathy and Keith now count some of the contemporary art world’s brightest stars as friends: artists Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, and Charles Ray to name a few. Sculptors Richard Serra, Richard Long, and Joel Shapiro all have spent time at the couple’s Rydal home. “Our conversations with artists still excite us. The only change over time is that they have become more natural,” says Kathy. “The visits continue to be inspiring.”