A Celebration Of The Cone Family Legacy

The Weatherspoon Art Museum and Cone Health share a common legacy as two organizations that have been supported by the Cone family’s long, deep, and engaged generosity in the Greensboro community. To celebrate that shared legacy, Cone Health hosted a virtual event on November 19, 2020, for Cone Health’s Bertha L. and Moses H. Cone Society members.

Cone Society members learned about Claribel and Etta Cone, the Cone sisters, who became voracious modern art collectors and recognized the value of sharing that art with the public. Weatherspoon Curator of Collections Elaine D. Gustafson presented a history of the Cone sisters’ impact on art in America and specifically at the Weatherspoon. Their donation of art in 1950 to the Weatherspoon became one of the cornerstones of the museum’s permanent collection. The Cone family’s generosity continued with gifts to fund art acquisitions to build the collection and the lead gift from Anne and Benjamin Cone, Sr., to construct the Weatherspoon’s current museum building. Cone Health Philanthropy Officer Ruth Heyd led a live question and answer session with Gustafson and Anne and Benjamin Cone Memorial Endowed Director Juliette Bianco, allowing participants to engage in the discussion.

The virtual presentation also included remarks from Weatherspoon Arts Foundation Board member Sally Cone, UNCG Chancellor Frank Gilliam, Cone Health Chief Executive Officer Terry Akin, and the Weatherspoon’s Juliette Bianco. The museum’s sculpture garden served as a perfect setting on a clear November afternoon to capture these leaders’ thoughts about their shared passions for education, health, and art as well as their gratitude for the Cone family’s commitment to Greensboro.

Images (top to bottom): Sally Cone films her remarks for the Nov. 19 event in the Weatherspoon’s courtyard. Cone Health Chief Executive Officer Terry Akin. Photos: Martin W. Kane, University Communications, 2020.