Climate Activists Protest at MoMA on Valentine’s Day Over Henry Kravis

Activists protested at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Valentine’s Day with demands that the institution cut ties with Henry Kravis, co-founder of investment firm KKR & Co., and his wife Marie-Josée Kravis.

In addition to Marie-Josée Kravis’s position as museum board chair, the couple have donated millions of dollars to the institution.

In a press release, the activists accused KKR of earning “profits from exploitative business practices and investments in dirty fossil fuel projects,” due to nearly $9 billion in funding towards liquid natural gas storage and transportation projects.

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A smiling Asian woman in a black shirt sitting at a black table with her arms crossed.

Around noon, on February 14, protestors entered the museum atrium chanting “MoMA Dump Kravis” and “We need clean air, not another billionaire.” The protestors also dropped red confetti and fliers with the image of Roy Litchenstein’s 1963 painting Drowning Girl, with the text modified to read “The planet is drowning— Why won’t MoMA drop billionaire climate criminals?”.

The protestors also carried a banner that appeared to draw from artist Ed Ruscha, whose work was the subject of a major retrospective that closed last month. “MOMA DROP KRAVIS,” was written on top of Ruscha’s famed image of a Standard Oil gas station on fire.

MoMA was also the site of a large Pro-Palestine protest on Saturday, and a climate protest specifically highlighting KKR’s funding of fossil fuel projects last September. Calls to drop Marie-Josée Kravis as MoMA’s chair was also the focus of a climate protest in June 2023. Activists set up signs, banners, and a miniature oil rig outside of the institution during its annual Party in the Garden, a major fundraising event.

A press release about Wednesday’s protest said that activists from the organizations Climate Defenders, Strong Economy for All, Planet over Profit, and New York Communities for Change have requested meetings with MoMA directors “multiple times” to discuss the institution’s ties to the Kravises and KKR, but have not received a response.

KKR and MoMA did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ARTnews.

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