The Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday praised its outgoing billionaire chair Leon Black, who recently resigned amid controversy over his ties to dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
MoMA Director Glenn Lowry in a Tuesday afternoon email to trustees announced the election of Marie-Josée Kravis — the wife of Black’s rival, leveraged buyout baron Henry Kravis — to replace Black.
In naming Black’s replacement, Lowry praised the museum’s chair since 2018 for having provided “outstanding leadership and dedication to MoMA, as a Trustee of the Museum since 1997, Co-Chairman of the Board from 2015 to 2018, and as Chairman since July 1, 2018.”
MoMA‘s trustees had unanimously chosen Kravis to be the next chair, the email said.
Kravis will replace Black when his term expires at the end of June.
Black’s investment firm, Apollo Global Management, in January revealed that Black had paid Epstein $158 million for personal tax, accounting and estate planning work following Epstein’s 2008 guilty plea for soliciting a minor for sex.
It had not found that Black had engaged in any wrongdoing.
But the ties led to protests by prominent artists including Ai Weiwei and photographer Nan Goldin, who publicly blasted MoMA for keeping Black as Chair.
Black in March also stepped down as chair and CEO of Apollo, citing heath reasons.
As The Post has since reported, Black’s departure from Apollo came days after various board members learned of sexual harassment and assault allegations by a woman, Guzel Ganieva, whom Black said was extorting him over a “consensual affair.”
Black has denied the allegations or that they contributed to his departure from the investment firm he helped found in 1990.
Marie-Josée is a big philanthropist. She directed Hudson Institute’s Corporate Environment program and is vice-chair of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
In 2015 she and her husband gave $100 million to Rockefeller University to create a research building in her name.
Her husband is not without controversy.
His private equity firm KKR owns Envision Healthcare, one of the country’s two major surprise billing companies. President Trump publicly criticized the practice of surprise billing calling it a “tremendous problem in this country” amid allegations that it has understaffed emergency rooms and overcharged patients for emergency health services.