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Gap founder plans flashy S.F. art museum

/ Source: The Associated Press

The founder of Gap Inc. plans to build a vast museum near the Golden Gate Bridge to house his collection of contemporary art, much of which has remained hidden from public view.

Donald Fisher, 78, said Wednesday that he hopes to erect the 100,000-square-foot museum in the Presidio, the one-time military base turned national park overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.

The collection of more than 1,000 pieces amassed by Fisher and his wife, Doris, includes work by such contemporary stalwarts as Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein and Gerhard Richter. Experts believe the collection could fetch more than $1 billion in today’s buoyant art market.

“I’m concerned about what happens to the collection,” Fisher said. “I don’t want to turn around and sell it, and I don’t want it to be sold when I pass away. I’d like it to be seen.”

Most of the work is currently in the Fishers’ homes and in two galleries at the San Francisco headquarters of Gap, the retail giant the couple founded in 1969.

Fisher hopes to open the museum in three years. It first must undergo an environmental review and receive approval from the park’s board before going forward.