Sydney Besthoff, longtime philanthropist, generous trustee, and benefactor of NOMA, was appropriately fêted with a ninetieth birthday party in the sculpture garden that bears his name on October 18, 2017. Friends, family, civic leaders, and NOMA staff lauded the honoree with praise for his devoted service to the museum, beginning in 1992 when the former chairman and CEO of the K&B drug store chain was appointed to the board of trustees. The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden opened in 2003.
During the party, NOMA Director Susan Taylor announced the establishment of The Sydney Besthoff Legacy Award (“The Sydney”) to be given once every five years to honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the visual arts. The inaugural award is a star-shaped maquette by sculptor Frank Stella, who is creating a full-scale version that will be exhibited in the upcoming expansion of the sculpture garden.