Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

A collector and patron with peerless holdings of modern and contemporary Latin American art

Phelps de Cisneros has one of the largest and most respected collections of modern and contemporary Latin American art, and yet it’s possible she doesn’t get to see much of it at any given time: through her foundation, set up during the 1970s, she has been a prodigious lender of works, pointedly eschewing the fashion among collectors for setting up private institutions. Her mission instead has been to persuade museums to expand the presence of art from the region in their own collections (and beyond: last October, Phelps de Cisneros sponsored MOMA’s Wikipedia edit-a-thon dedicated to producing entries on topics relating to Latin American art and culture). Working alongside director Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro is Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, who heads up the foundation’s work with contemporary art. A major player in her own right, she joined Phelps de Cisneros in 2011 and has been working actively on the foundation’s acquisitions, grant-making, residency and education programmes.