Membership Matters: A Legacy of Philanthropy and a Vision for the Future

A light skinned woman smiles out at the cameraFor Blair Moll, Princeton Class of 2010, a love of the arts—and a history of cultural philanthropy—has always been a family affair. Her grandfather Bagley Wright Jr. graduated from Princeton in 1946 and went on to establish both the Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Fund for Contemporary Art and the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art at Princeton. Blair, a specialist in Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art department, is poised to continue her family’s legacy of arts philanthropy.

Growing up in San Francisco, Blair had worked at several nonprofit art spaces before graduating from high school. After a “magical” visit, Blair came to Princeton to study and quickly decided to major in art history with a focus on modern and contemporary art. Her first art history class—a contemporary art course with Hal Foster, the Townsend Martin, Class of 1917 Professor of Art and Archaeology—solidified her choice of major. Blair is a self-proclaimed “sucker” for outdoor sculpture and loves Richard Serra’s The Hedgehog and the Fox (2000). She is also one of many alumni who fondly remember Henry Moore’s Oval with Points (1969–70) as an indelible part of their life on campus. She says the sculpture “feels like Princeton to me.”

Although she was an art history major, Blair says that as a student she did not take full advantage of the Art Museum’s resources. She loved the accessibility of objects for her studies, but she didn’t have a sense then of how much the Museum serves students, noting, “It’s great for the community as well but especially for the students because it’s so close and intimate. It’s also remarkable for students to have the opportunity to work closely with the curators.” Blair is thrilled with the plans for the new, expanded Museum building—slated to open in late 2024—and has been impressed with the last decade’s programming initiatives that engage students across all majors and welcome everyone, students and community alike, free of charge.

This is one of the reasons that Blair supports the Museum as a donor and served on the host committee for the Museum for All Ball, a sold-out event attended by more than four hundred people in October. She wants to amplify the message that the Museum is free and open to all, something she didn’t realize during her time as a student. “I want the students to feel like this is their Museum. I want to continue to support it as a place for all to visit, gather, and learn.”