Love of Asian Art Sparks a Fascinating Life's Journey


Gordon Holler

Gordon Holler at Mt. Palitana in Gujarat

Artist and museum member Gordon Holler's love affair with Asia began as a freshman at the University of Nebraska. Influenced by his art professors, Gordon discovered a passion for both Japanese art and Egyptian anthropology.

Attending the University of California, Berkeley, for graduate school, Gordon was eager to visit the Asian Art Museum, knowing that it was the best place to explore his interest in Asia. Upon graduation, he was offered a job doing scientific drawings and photography for excavations in Cairo and traveled through Iraq, India, Cambodia and Afghanistan.

As a professor at Foothill College in Los Altos, California, Gordon taught courses ranging from Islamic art to printing. His achieved acclaim as an artist in the 70s and 80s, with his work collected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian. He returned his focus to teaching and became involved in the college's Japanese Cultural Center and Bamboo Society, which led him to work with students to establish an extensive bamboo garden at the college.

During these years, Gordon frequently brought his students to the Asian Art Museum to encourage them to discover Asia through its art and culture.

Through a gift in his will, Gordon is a member of the Richard B. Gump Society. "I want to give an opportunity to others to explore and enjoy the arts of Asia," he says.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Asian Art Museum Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the Asian Art Museum Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the museum or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the museum as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the museum as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the museum's partner where you agree to make a gift and our partner, in return, agrees to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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