The gift by Maria Cox, a MOCA trustee for twelve years, represents an acceleration of a planned bequest set in motion with the Coxes' 2004 gift of forty-eight works, which are some of the most active and educationally valuable objects in MOCA Jacksonville's Permanent Collection. The current gift, valued at about $5.8 million, includes another fifty artworks that have even greater significance. The ninety-eight objects in the entire Cox Collection include sixteen paintings, twenty-seven sculptures, fifty-two works on paper, one photograph, and two pieces of ephemera. Cox has also created The Donald and Maria Cox Fund by pledging a gift to help support research, conservation, access, and future growth of the Permanent Collection.
“Maria Cox's generous gift transforms MOCA's Permanent Collection,” said Ben Thompson, acting director. “These important works by top-tier artists bolster the strength of the Permanent Collection, dramatically increasing its significance, and will provide joy, education, and scholarship for generations.”
The Permanent Collection guides and enriches MOCA Jacksonville's exhibition offerings, as well as providing a lasting, year-round resource for the community. MOCA endeavors to create a Permanent Collection of significant depth, scope, and quality to be used for exhibitions, study, and scholarly research-all tools that foster education, awareness, and experience with contemporary visual art. Cox's gift propels the Museum towards its goal of creating a high-quality collection with areas of distinction that will help define the institution regionally, nationally, and internationally.
“Donald and Maria easily could have selected a more established and well-known institution in New York City where they built their careers, so why MOCA Jacksonville? Their choice indicates to me what really drove their collection from the very beginning-simply the love of art,” said Charles Gilman III, chair of the MOCA Board of Trustees and president of Cumberland Woods, LLC. “Now, her wish is to share that joy with others. At another institution, her gift would have to compete with many other significant works for exposure from storage. And once their works were curated into an exhibition, they would be competing with myriad other great art offerings about town for an audience. The Cox gift is all about exhibiting the art and foregoing the fanfare. Now, it's up to MOCA to prove to our local constituencies the exceptional value of this gift that has come to us here in Jacksonville."