Gareth Harris of the Financial Times writes that foundations set up by successful artists or their estates are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the art world.
“ ‘Artist-endowed foundations are the sleeping giants of philanthropy,’ says András Szántó, a New York-based analyst and cultural consultant. Indeed, these charitable foundations, endowed by an artist with assets (archives, property and art among them) used for the public good, are quietly but dramatically changing the US art landscape through their grant-making programmes, scholarship, research activities and contributions to museum collections. …
“The greatest challenge, for a start-up private operating foundation, [according to Christy MacLear, the Rauschenberg Foundation's executive director], is making the transition from an unregulated art industry player to a highly regulated non-profit entity.
“Such sticky issues aside,” Harris continues, “artists’ foundations could, one day, match or even top government funding for the visual arts in America.
“Szántó stresses that their full impact is yet to be felt. ‘With an unprecedented cohort of well-to-do painters and sculptors among the older generation,’ he says, ‘the golden age of artist foundations may yet be ahead.’”
The Andy Warhol Foundation’s Joel “Wachs, meanwhile, is evangelical, declaring: ‘Successful artists have a unique opportunity to support those artists that come after them.’ ”
Read more in the Financial Times.