Published: April 30, 2019
KANSAS CITY, MO — The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art joins the Kansas City community in mourning the loss of Morton I. Sosland, who died on April 25. The 93-year-old Sosland, with his wife, Estelle, was a generous and steadfast supporter of the museum for more than five decades.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Morton’s passing, and I will miss him very much,” said Richard C. Green, chair of the Nelson-Atkins board of trustees. “Morton and Estelle made an enormous impact on the museum as well as the entire community.”
The Soslands and other museum leaders inspired the generosity of the Kansas City community 20 years ago in extensive fundraising efforts that made the Generations Capital Campaign a stellar success, enabling the Nelson-Atkins to bolster the museum’s endowment campaign and complete the acclaimed Bloch Building and parking garage as well as renovations to the original Nelson-Atkins Building.
Sosland was married for 72 years to Estelle, who was the first female chair of the museum’s board of trustees. The couple’s son, Charles S. Sosland, is currently a trustee at the museum.
“I can’t overstate the enormous impact Morton had on the Nelson-Atkins through the past five decades,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, director and chief executive officer of the Nelson-Atkins. “I always found him to be very curious to learn and a marvelous storyteller. He was authoritative and authentic and had a very special way of pushing the boundaries. He was a man of the future, yet deeply anchored in the admiration, understanding and respect of the past.”
The Soslands gave one of the nation’s finest private collections of American Indian art to the Nelson-Atkins. The Northwest Coast masterworks were unveiled in the American Indian art galleries, which opened in 2009.
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