The Solow Art and Architecture Foundation is a museum located in midtown Manhattan with an epic collection of art valued at more than $200 million. It features work by Henri Mattise, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Joan Miro, among many others.
The gallery was created by Sheldon Solow, a billionaire New York developer, and is classified as a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. According to its official mission, it “maintains and displays artwork for exhibition to the public.” There is no public access to any of the artwork.
As a private operating foundation, it affords tax benefits to the sole member of its board, Sheldon Solow. Donations can be made to the foundation and deducted from taxes at the current value of the artwork.
The tax benefits of a private operating foundations were created because legislators expected foundations would provide a public benefit. Although the foundation has made donations and loans to other museums, it is otherwise inaccessible, even to individuals who work in the building.