You wouldn’t expect to find an annual report in an art museum, but the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have two decades’ worth of George Gund Foundation annual reports among their holdings. Take a look and you’ll see why.
For nearly 25 years, Nesnadny + Schwartz has produced Gund’s annual report (as well as their website), partnering with fine art photographers to capture images that reflect the foundation’s philosophy and funding objectives. Each report is a photo essay on a particular theme —“People Working” by MacArthur “genius” Lee Friedlander, “Free Medical Clinic” by Guggenheim fellow Nicholas Nixon, to name just two. Year after year — striking, emotionally compelling images.
One thing about imaginative work is that it almost always expands in ways you didn’t imagine. These fabulous photographs became the focal point for Gund’s 50th anniversary in 2002, culminating in an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art, accompanied by a hardcover catalogue, A City Seen.