James Sachs Plaut

Credited with “defining modern art for America” (The Boston Globe) James Sachs Plaut (1913–1996) was the first director of what is now the Institute of Contemporary Art. Leading the ICA for 18 years, he brought many firsts to Boston, exhibiting work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Kokoschka, and Edvard Munch, among others, never before seen in the city.

Originally founded as the Boston Museum of Modern Art to reflect its ties to New York’s MoMA, the ICA eventually changed its name to describe more accurately Plaut’s primary mission—to create a laboratory for presenting contemporary art—which remains central to the museum’s work today.

To honor his memory and continue his important work, the ICA launched the James Sachs Plaut Society. Your contribution will sustain Plaut’s vision of a place where innovation, excellence, and creativity not only thrive but nourish the cultural community in Boston and beyond.