2009 AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT
THE JUDITH ROTHSCHILD FOUNDATION AWARDS OVER
$100,000 TO 17 PROJECTS
Now in its fifteenth year, this innovative grant program has been
dedicated to advancing the work of American visual artists
who are recently deceased and under-recognized.
New York (March 30, 2009) The Judith Rothschild Foundation announced today 17 grant awards totaling in excess of $100,000 for the current year. The grants, which range from $4,000 to $10,000, will support and stimulate interest in the work of 18 artists. In keeping with the Foundation’s unique mission, all grants are for recently deceased American visual artists who are deemed outstanding, yet under-recognized. These grants will contribute funding for: museum and gallery exhibitions; publications; the acquisition of artwork for a public collection; the cataloguing, conservation, and documentation of artists’ work and for an artist’s web-site.
The Foundation also announced it will not be accepting proposals in 2009 for next year’s award cycle.
THE JUDITH ROTHSCHILD FOUNDATION
GRANT RECIPIENTS FOR 2009
Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation
New York, New York
$5,000 to catalogue, restore, and photograph work by the painter in preparation for a monograph, organized by foundation director Anita Shapolsky. Born in San Diego, Briggs studied in San Francisco with artists Clyfford Still, David Park, and Ad Reinhardt, before moving to New York in 1953 to be an active participant in second generation Abstract Expressionism. His paintings, composed of fiery explosions of color and brushstroke, reveal lyrical aspects of space within the restrictions of a two dimensional surface.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kansas City, Missouri
$5,000 toward Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting, a traveling exhibition on the painter with accompanying catalogue and related public programs, organized by museum director Rachael Blackburn Cozad and curator Christopher Cook. Christensen was a modernist painter who reached critical acclaim in the 1960s with his “ribbon,” “plaid,” and “loop” paintings. Originally from Nebraska, Christensen studied at the Kansas City Art Institute before moving to New York City in the mid 1960s where he explored colorist painting with a variety of new tools and techniques that included paint-scraping and sprayguns.
Estate of Emilio Cruz
New York, New York
$7,000 to develop a website on the painter, organized by estate executor Patricia Cruz. Originally from the Bronx, Cruz participated in the Provincetown art scene during his early development as an artist. Influenced by Kline and DeKooning, he created figurative expressionistic work, defined through a painterly execution of intense colors and geometric lines, some of which reached proportions that were twice human scale.
Delaware Art Museum
$10,000 toward the acquisition of a 1961 mural study by the painter for the museum’s permanent collection. A native of Topeka, Kansas, Douglas was a socially conscious artist who contributed to the visual legacy of the Harlem Renaissance through his paintings, murals, prints and illustrations for progressive journals and books. He played a pivotal role in the shifting attitudes of African-American artists in New York who explored and celebrated their African heritage in their artwork.
The Sam Glankoff Collection
New York, New York
$10,000 toward the conservation of works on paper by the painter, organized by collection director Wendy Snyder and conservator Andrea Pitsch. Originator of an ink-transfer painting process known as “print-painting,” Glankoff worked reclusively in New York City for most of his life. His large scale pieces, structured through layers of brightly saturated colored panels of Japanese paper, create evocative, atmospheric surfaces delicately joined through glue and tape.
University Art Museum
California State University, Long Beach
Long Beach, California
$5,000 toward the catalogue that will accompany the exhibition Resistance/Reactions: A Michael Goldberg Retrospective, organized by museum curator Alice Hutchison. A native New Yorker, Goldberg studied at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art before enlisting in the U.S. Army, where he was wounded in battle. After returning to the New York School, Goldberg’s abstractions evolved from gestural imagery reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism to powerful architectural forms, dense with materiality that combine strongly delineated shapes with energtic brush marks.
Loyola University Museum of Art
$7,000 to include work by the painter in the group exhibition Back to the Future with accompanying catalogue and related public programs, organized by museum director Pamela Ambrose and guest curator Carol Celentano. Born in New York City, Gouverneur painted and taught in several European and East Coast cities from the 1960s through the 1980s. His hard-edged abstract and patterned paintings, exploring communication and symbolic language, have been called the equivalent of a "visual Esperanto.”
$10,000 to conserve, catalogue, and digitally document work by the photographer, organized by Darcy Huebler and Luciano Perna. Huebler was an important figure in post-war American art and was involved in a variety of movements, including abstract expressionism, minimalism, and most notably conceptually-inspired photography. Many of his photographs document people participating in various activities. One of his most ambitious projects was the attempt to photograph everyone alive on the planet.
Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art
$10,000 toward the re-creation of the sculptor's 1996 installation Its all about ME Not You, which is a part of the museum's permanent collection, organized by museum co-director Michael Olijnyk, assistant curator Owen Smith, and archivist Leah Durand. Originally from Flint, Michigan, Lankton studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before receiving her BFA from Pratt Institute Brooklyn, NY. She created highly expressive mannequin-like figures with full make-up, wigs and jewelry that, combined with auto biographical drawings and home-made shrines documenting New York’s 1980s East Village, explored gender, sexuality and the so-called “freaks” of society.
The Drawing Center
New York, New York
$7,000 toward Ree Morton: Drawings, an exhibition on the sculptor with accompanying catalogue and related public programs, organized by museum curator João Ribas. Ree Morton created her art in New York and California in a relatively short period from 1971 to 1977. She pioneered the development of installation art and sculpture which incorporate equivocal words and phrases, and an eclectic array of materials including brightly colored wire, wood, ribbons, as well as handcrafted plastics, and everyday found objects.
Philip Pavia Trust
New York, New York
$7,000 toward Philip Pavia: Works 1930-2005, a publication produced by John Isaacs Books, edited by trust director Natalie Edgar with an introduction by art historian Gerald Nordland. Primarily known as the founder of “The Club,” a group of artists in New York City that formed the melting pot of ideas related to Abstract Expressionism, Pavia was a sculptor in his own right and did not begin showing until after he retired from the group. Pavia created primarily abstract forms from carved marble that, arranged in a seemingly scattered and casual way, explored the “velocity” of stream of consciousness.
Florence Miller Pierce
Orange County Museum of Art
Newport Beach, California
$4,000 for costs associated with including works by the painter in Illumination: The Paintings of Georgia O'Keefe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce, a traveling exhibition with accompanying catalogue, organized by museum deputy director Karen Moss. Living most of her life in New Mexico, Pierce traveled with her family to both New York and Los Angeles while developing a vocabulary of abstraction that conveyed transcendence and spiritualiy. She experimented with a variety of materials and processes including carved polyurethane foam, spray painted balsa wood panels, and layered resin pigment on mirrored Plexiglas that created ethereal surfaces which appear to emanate light.
The Slobodkina Foundation
Glen Head, New York
$5,000 for the shipping and crating costs associated with Rediscovering Slobodkina: Pioneer of American Abstraction, a traveling retrospective exhibition on the painter, organized by guest curator Sandra Kraskin, foundation director Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer, and presented at the Heckscher Museum of Art. Born in Siberia, Slobodkina immigrated to New York in 1928 and became a founding member (later president) of the American Abstract Artists group. Using a personal technique of transferring preparatory drawings onto gesso-covered board, Slobodkina created paintings in a flat, abstract style that incorporates line and suspended or interlocking forms with pure, un-modulated color.
Purdue University North Central
$4,000 toward the public programing costs associated with an exhibition on the sculptor, organized by the University’s Assisant Vice Chancellor Judy Jacobi. Sugarman lived and worked in New York and created large colorful sculptures, some of which exist as wall or floor pieces. Inspired by his early interest in the compositions of Chinese painting and Matisse, Sugarman produced rhythmical pieces made from jagged geometric forms that challenged the conventions of figure-based sculpture.
James W. Washington, Jr.
The James and Janie Washington Foundation
$4,000 toward a permanent exhibition on the sculptor, organized by foundation director Timothy Detweiler. Washington was a self-taught artist who grew up in rural Mississippi before settling in Seattle during the early 1940s. Initially a painter and printmaker, it was not until he discovered stone in Mexico City that he became a sculptor, creating deeply symbolic, totem-like works of animals that express the spiritual connections of people and nature.
Jersey City Museum
Jersey City, New Jersey
$5,000 toward Industrial Strength: Precisionism and New Jersey, a group exhibition with accompanying catalogue and related public programs that will include painters Elsie Driggs (1898-1992,) Werner Drewes (1899-1985), and Reva Helfond (1910-2002), organized by museum curator Rocio Aranda-Alvarado. This exhibition will explore how these artists, working in the style of Precisionism, enhance our understanding of American culture and identity by examining the physical changes in regional urban and industrial landscapes of the early 20th century.
$10,000 toward The Deities Must be Made to Laugh, Works 1971–1977, an exhibition on the sculptor with accompanying catalogue, organized by museum director Sabine Folie. Unorthodox in both form and material, much of Morton’s work falls between the disciplines of painting and sculpture. Creating her own private language of individual elements, Morton often used interchangeable materials intended to be displayed in varying arrangements. (Additional grant reviewed and funded in the summer of 2008 between grant review cycles).
The only grant program of its kind, The Judith Rothschild Foundation was established by the will of the noted abstract painter, Judith Rothschild, who died in 1993. The operating Foundation has several distinct missions, including the stewardship of Ms. Rothschild’s own work, the disposition of works of art by others in her collection, special discretionary initiatives in support of museums and cultural institutions generally, and a grant program focusing on under-recognized, deceased artists.
Recipients are selected solely by members of the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee from applications submitted, and is co-chaired by Elizabeth Slater, Senior Vice President, Grant Program and Harvey S. Shipley Miller, Trustee, who serve ex-officio and who do not vote. The Committee membership changes annually, and is comprised of noted scholars, critics, museum professionals, and working artists who serve anonymously during their terms. This year’s Committee members were: Thelma Golden, Director, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Jeffrey L. Rosenheim, Curator, Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Robert Mangold, artist, New York, NY; Karen Wilkin, curator and critic, New York, NY; and John Yau, poet and art critic, New York, NY.
RE-EVALUATION OF GRANT PROGRAM
Among its other activities as an operating foundation, The Judith Rothschild Foundation has for the past 15 years made grants to present, preserve, or interpret work of the highest aesthetic merit by lesser-known deceased American artists. Since the grant program’s inception in 1995, the Foundation has contributed millions of dollars toward a wide range of projects, providing hundreds of opportunities for significant re-evaluation of their work.
As provided in Judith Rothschild’s will, eligibility required the artist to have died after September 12th, 1976 and before March 7th, 2008 (15 years before the date of her will and 15 years after her death).
Because of last year’s closing of the eligibility window, The Judith Rothschild Foundation will spend the upcoming grant cycle evaluating the most effective way to re-focus the activities of the Grant Program in order to best support those eligible artists remaining within this now closed pool and to carry out the mission of the Foundation in accordance with the terms of Rothschild’s will. Accordingly, the Foundation will not be accepting proposals for this next 2009-2010 cycle.
It will, however, continue to be actively involved in giving technical advice and tools to artists’ estates and living artists preparing their estates, supporting the research and updates associated with the online version of the A Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning, co-sponsored with The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, and seeking out news ways to promote public awareness of recently deceased American artists’ achievements as well as the direct aesthetic experience of their work.