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Volkswagen, Museum of Modern Art Announce N.Y. Sponsorship Deal

The exterior of the Museum of Modern Art. Volkswagen AG and the Museum of Modern Art announced a two-year, multi-million-dollar partnership. Photographer: Timothy Hursley/MoMA via Bloomberg

Volkswagen AG and the Museum of Modern Art announced a two-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship in New York today.

The deal will provide funding for: an exhibition of international contemporary art at MoMA’s Long Island City, New York, branch, PS1, in 2013; a series of installations in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden; an expansion of online education; and the acquisition of two works by Belgian artist Francis Alys, whose current retrospective at the museum is sponsored by Volkswagen.

The company and the museum declined to disclose the total amount of the sponsorship.

“The scale of support is absolutely remarkable from our perspective,” said MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry.

The collaboration with MoMA is part of the German automaker’s expansion in the U.S. and its push to become the world’s leading carmaker. The press conference announcing the sponsorship came a day before the opening ceremony for Volkswagen’s $1 billion factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“MoMA is one of the world’s most admired cultural institutions,” said Martin Winterkorn, chief executive officer of the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company.

The museum has discussed partnerships with various corporations over the years, Lowry said, adding that Volkswagen “shared interest in the kinds of programs we are keen on developing.”

The two-year contract could be expanded depending on its success.

Lowry said at the press conference that a VW was the “first car given to me by my parents. It lasted exactly 24 hours before I crashed it into a tree. I liked it so much, I went out and bought one, and I still had it 10 years later.”

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