May 10, 2022 - Economy & Business

Guggenheim becomes latest museum to drop Sackler name

Photo of people milling about several floors of art galleries
Museum-goers look at paintings on Dec. 12, 2021, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg via Getty Images

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has removed the Sackler name from an education center following years-long controversies over the family's role in the opioid crisis.

Why it matters: The Sacklers made billions from the sale of highly addictive opioid painkillers and were embroiled in several litigation battles until March, when they reached a $6 billion settlement with U.S. states.

  • The Guggenheim's removal of the Sackler name took place quietly last week and was not publicly announced, the New York Times reports.

What they're saying: "The Guggenheim and the Mortimer D. Sackler family have agreed to rename the arts education center," museum spokesperson Sara Fox said Tuesday in a statement.

  • "We believe this decision is in the best interest of the Museum and the vital work it does."

The big picture: The Guggenheim, based in New York City, is the latest institution to cut ties with the disgraced family.

  • The National Gallery in London said Monday that it would remove the Sackler name from its walls, according to Forbes.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art dropped the name from one of its most popular galleries as well as six other exhibition spaces in December, per the Times.
  • Several museums have outright rejected donations from the family.
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