Front diagonal view of Mission House

Legacy Giving

The Art of the Matter

Photo of Joel Goldstein and Reed GoodmanBY JEFF HARDER

Soon after moving to Lincoln in the late 1980s, Joel Goldstein and Reed Goodman discovered a cultural gem just miles from their doorstep: deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. As they built careers in business and industry—Joel in executive consulting, Reed in communications—the couple regularly found respite in deCordova. They bicycled over to glimpse the park’s latest three-dimensional additions. They brought houseguests for picnics. They attended every exhibition opening, concert, and special event they could, kindling an ever-growing passion for art collecting in the process.

That fondness for deCordova endures these three decades later. “It’s been a haven for us, and we spread the word to people in the area who don’t know about it—anything we can do to help its longevity,” Reed says. “There’s something philosophically and practically valuable to maintaining and supporting local institutions.”

After migrating to Sudbury in 1993, Joel and Reed, who’ve been together for 38 years, only strengthened their connections with deCordova. Joel became an overseer and devoted committee member, serving on the deCordova Leadership Council and helping with the museum’s recent integration with The Trustees. “It was a perfect match,” Joel says of the integration. “As much as the deCordova is about art, it’s also about the landscape—which fits into what The Trustees care about in terms of preservation.”

The bonds with deCordova are central to the couple’s entry into the Semper Virens Society. Upon marrying four years ago and pondering where to channel their financial legacy, Joel and Reed saw a natural fit between their philanthropic priorities—particularly arts and education—and the missions of The Trustees and deCordova. “The arts have always been important to us,” Joel says. “It’s enriched our lives—we feel fortunate to be in a position to purchase art and have it hanging on our walls. And we want to make sure institutions like deCordova continue to provide art that’s accessible to all kinds of people and all kinds of situations.”

DeCordova, Joel adds, also lends vital support to artists themselves. He recalls attending a Party for the Park celebration with Reed, where an emerging artist received an award and recounted her journey and the struggles of a creative life—an occasion that reminded him of just how vital institutions can be in helping creators achieve their true potential. “Nurturing artists, helping them become better known, helping them be able to support themselves through their art—those are added dimensions that make supporting deCordova critically important.”


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