Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Message from Executive Director - Foundation

February 2022


Helen Frankenthaler was one of the most innovative and prolific artists of her time. Her impact and legacy reverberate in art practices today and through the work of the Foundation that she established during her lifetime.  As founding Executive Director, I am pleased to share some reflections on how the course we have charted since becoming active in 2013 is expanding and evolving in new directions.


As the Foundation approaches the second decade of its activity, we are amplifying our spectrum of scholarly, educational, and curatorial commitments, while shaping and fulfilling new goals. We are continuing, and indeed, increasing our loans program and participation in exhibitions and programming that feature Frankenthaler’s work, with the goal of introducing her to new audiences both in North America and internationally.  To continue to advance her legacy, we have ramped up research and scholarship for publications on lesser-known aspects of her practice as well as much-needed updated overviews of her career.  The Foundation also supports educational and curatorial projects across the arts, to contextualize the artist and demonstrate her continued relevance today, while reflecting her passion for the arts at large.


Concurrently, the Foundation is also deepening its commitment to address critical issues in the arts through philanthropy.  With the enthusiastic support of our board, we have shaped a philanthropic vision to spearhead climate change-related efforts in the art world—first and foremost by supporting museums’ efforts to mitigate their climate footprint, and now extending to artists whose work addresses climate change.  These programs aim to achieve a broader and deeper reach for Frankenthaler’s legacy, bringing an invigorated sense of purpose to our work.


To keep apprised of all our programs and initiatives, we invite you to visit our website often for updates, to follow us on social media, and to let us know of your interest in receiving our semi-annual newsletter if it does not already reach you.


Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director