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Ellsworth Kelly Foundation donates major gift to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies
Ellsworth Kelly, Berlin Totem, 2008, stainless steel, 40 feet x 4 feet x 8 inches. Photo: Jack Shear.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies announced a landmark gift from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation to establish an endowment, entitled The Ellsworth Kelly Fund for Preservation, for the maintenance and care of FAPE’s Collection. The Foundation’s donation of $250,000 marks the first gift received in honor of FAPE’s 30th Anniversary this year.

“Ellsworth Kelly was one of the most influential artists of our time and a very dear friend of FAPE. We are profoundly saddened by his loss, but we are honored and grateful for this extraordinary gift, which guarantees that FAPE’s entire Collection will be cared for in perpetuity at no cost to the government,” said FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder. “This enormously generous grant will enable us to continue the important work of cultural diplomacy through art.”

FAPE was established in 1986 as a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of State. Since its founding, the FAPE Collection has grown to include more than 2,300 pieces by more than 200 American artists. Works have been placed in 140 countries, and are permanent gifts to each embassy.

“Ellsworth strongly supported FAPE’s mission, and we were happy to establish an endowment for the care of FAPE’s Collection,” said Jack Shear, FAPE Board Member and Executive Director of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, which was established in 1991, and provides grants to local, national and international programs. “It is important that these great works of American art be preserved for future generations, and ensure a sense of place around the world.”

Ellsworth Kelly was one of America’s most preeminent artists, and had been involved with FAPE since 1997, when he donated his print, Leaves, to FAPE’s Original Print Collection. In 2003, FAPE commissioned two major wall sculptures by Kelly for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, and in 2006, commissioned the artist to create a sculpture for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. Kelly also generously donated the actual award which is presented annually to the recipient of the Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy in the Arts. The artist’s works are included in FAPE’s Collection at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, as well as its Millennium GIFT TO THE NATION.

Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015)
One of the most acclaimed American artists, Ellsworth Kelly was born in Newburgh, New York. He executed many public commissions, including a work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, in 1993; in 1998, panels for the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, Boston; in 2009, a sculpture for the Art Institute of Chicago; in 2012, a sculpture for the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia; and in 2014, a curtain and five paintings for the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. The artist was awarded the 2012 National Medal of Arts.

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