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Helen Frankenthaler Foundation announces two major university-level education initiatives
Helen Frankenthaler, Untitled, 1967, screenprint, 25 3/4 x 17 7/8 inches (65.4 x 45.4 cm). © 2018 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Chiron Press, New York. Photograph by Steven Sloman, courtesy of Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation today announced two new initiatives for arts funding: the Frankenthaler Scholarships in painting and art history and the Frankenthaler Prints Initiative for university-affiliated museums. These multi-year efforts will greatly expand the Foundation’s reach to students of art and art history at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels.

Clifford Ross, Chair of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s Board of Trustees, stated, “Helen had a strong interest in supporting college- and university-level art education. Her own fortunate training at Bennington, and her active lecture schedule at art schools and universities during her career, made her aware of the benefits of an enlightened and stimulating education. With Frankenthaler Scholarships, we hope to extend Helen’s interests to help outstanding students who will particularly benefit from our financial support.”

Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director of the Foundation, added, “Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) was eminent among the second generation of postwar American abstract painters, and widely known as one of the most significant printmakers of her time. Through gifts and grants to university art museums, the Frankenthaler Prints Initiative will enrich their collections and make possible the study of her many innovative contributions to the printmaking field.”

In its first year, Frankenthaler Scholarships will support outstanding MFA students concentrating in painting. The Foundation will make one-time endowment gifts of USD 500,000 to each of four MFA programs to create annual scholarships for selected students, who will be identified by faculty associated with the programs. Chosen for their excellence as well as for their geographic diversity within the U.S., the first year’s grant recipients are:

• Columbia University School of the Arts
• School of the Art Institute of Chicago
• UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture
• Yale School of Art

In addition to the endowment gifts, each institution will receive funds to develop a program in association with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, which might range from a lecture, to a session for students at the Foundation’s study center in New York City, to visits to the school by art historians and curators familiar with Helen Frankenthaler’s work.

In the second year of the Frankenthaler Scholarships initiative, the Foundation will make USD 500,000 gifts to each of an additional four MFA or PhD art history programs, which will be announced at a later date.

Also this month, the Foundation will launch the Frankenthaler Prints Initiative for university museums, comprising gifts of selected prints by the artist to ten museums. Each will receive ten prints and five to ten related trial proofs, drawn from the Foundation’s extensive collection of prints by the artist. The gifts—spanning etching, lithography, monotype or monoprint, pochoir, screenprint, woodcut, and other techniques, sometimes in combination—will reflect the variety of media Frankenthaler used.

Each museum will also receive a one-time grant of USD 25,000 to develop a project or program for the study, presentation, and interpretation of the works within a three-year timeframe.

Ruth Fine, former Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and a leading authority on Frankenthaler’s prints, has selected the prints and is working with the Foundation as an advisor on the multi-year initiative.

The museums have been selected for their dedicated commitment to prints as a significant collecting area and teaching tool, while having few or no examples of Frankenthaler’s prints in their collections. These are:

• Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin
• Bowdoin College Museum of Art
• University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum
• Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts/Hammer Museum, UCLA
• The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
• Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
• Princeton University Art Museum
• RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design
• SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah College of Art and Design
• Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence

The second group of museums for the prints initiative will be announced in 2019.

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