Press Office News

Dr. Carl Djerassi Statement

Released: February 02, 2015

Carl Djerassi; photo: Karen Ostertag

It is with great sadness that we share word of the passing of Dr. Carl Djerassi on January 30, 2015. A renaissance man in the truest sense of the word, Dr. Djerassi was widely known for his achievements as a scientist, novelist, playwright, poet, collector, connoisseur, educator, raconteur, and polymath.

"SFMOMA has lost a truly great friend in Carl Djerassi — an exceptionally brilliant man who counted the work of Swiss-born modernist Paul Klee among his many passions. Owing to Carl's generosity, SFMOMA's early 20th-century holdings are distinguished by one of the world's great repositories of Klee's art, which we will continue to make publicly available on an ongoing basis when we reopen in 2016," said Neal Benezra, director of SFMOMA.

In 1984, Dr. Djerassi placed his collection of works by the artist Paul Klee (1879-1940) at SFMOMA. This collection, now numbering nearly 90 works of art, spans the full arc of the artist's output, from 1895 to 1940, and includes paintings, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings, and lithographs. The Djerassi Collection demonstrates the breadth of Klee's output in both style and subject matter — from tightly controlled portraits to loosely painted abstractions — and will continue to be presented monographically and in the context of related artists in the Djerassi Gallery/Paul Klee Study Center in the expanded museum.

Our condolences to Dr. Djerassi's family, as well as his many colleagues, friends, students, and collaborators.

Read Dr. Djerassi's obituary on SFGate.com.