Power 100

Most influential people in 2021 in the contemporary artworld


Pamela J. Joyner

Collector - ‘Activist’ collector and champion of African-American art

22 in 2021

  • 202122
  • 202013
  • 201935
  • 201836
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
Pamela J. Joyner. Photo: Nathanael Turner

Getting the art bug from repeated visits to the Chicago Art Institute from the age of six, Joyner became a collector on a mission. While the walls of the museum back then were dominated by art by white people, Joyner is determined to use the wealth she has accrued through a career in finance to collect and lend the work of Black artists. This year Joyner donated 31 paintings, sculptures and drawings by 20 American artists from the African diaspora to SFMoMA (where she is a trustee, alongside board positions at MoMA, the J. Paul Getty Trust, Tate Americas and the Chicago Art Institute). The works were selected by Joyner to plug gaps in SFMoMA’s collection, offering new, more inclusive readings of art history. ‘What I want visitors to take away is that there were people of colour not only working in the field,’ Joyner said this year, ‘but defining the character of the movement at that time.’

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