Elana Brun­dyn tells us what she has learnt

the col­lec­tor, uber gal­lerist and art-world power player

Condé Nast House & Garden - - INSIGHT -

the most val­ued virtue i have learnt is hav­ing pa­tience.

Feel­ing im­pa­tient is not an au­to­matic emo­tional re­sponse; it in­volves con­scious thoughts and be­liefs. Pa­tience is linked to self-con­trol and con­sciously try­ing to reg­u­late our emo­tions. Work­ing with creative be­ings such as artists and cu­ra­tors, first as a com­mer­cial gal­lerist and now as a mu­seum di­rec­tor, I had to learn and to trust the nat­u­ral rhythm of cre­ation.

Know that philanthropy is an at­ti­tude

and it is not the same as char­ity. Char­ity fo­cuses on elim­i­nat­ing the suf­fer­ing caused by so­cial prob­lems. Philanthropy fo­cuses on elim­i­nat­ing the so­cial prob­lem. I have learnt you don’t have to be wealthy to be a phi­lan­thropist. Many peo­ple, who are not rich, do a lot of good with the lit­tle they give. I am in­spired by the quiet phi­lan­thropist who wants to im­prove the well­be­ing of hu­mankind.

Beauty and per­fec­tion is bor­ing.

These notions of beauty and per­fec­tion have been re­de­fined in con­tem­po­rary art. Per­fec­tion is not at­tain­able, and the pur­suit of it makes us bor­ing. It is our dif­fer­ences, our weak­nesses, and our im­per­fec­tions that con­nect us to hu­man­ity.

Cul­tural plat­forms, such as mu­se­ums, are the cathe­drals of our time. they have a soft, in­flu­enc­ing power.

The more I wit­ness this power daily, the more I am aware that the need for art has never been greater, for art can lift us, tell us who we are, who we’ve been and who we can be. art is a force for good­ness. art changes lives.

it is the lit­tle things that mat­ter the most.

It’s not the big wins that re­ally count. It’s the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of lit­tle things and quiet mo­ments.

Ac­tion beats angst.

ac­tion is the cure for worry and stress. I think that we all have a cer­tain anx­i­ety about our – and our chil­dren’s – fu­ture. But by do­ing one small thing to im­prove the fu­ture you will cre­ate a mo­men­tum that leads to some­thing valu­able – or at the least heal­ing.

from left: elana brun­dyn; the nor­val foun­da­tion, for which elana is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, is now open

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