Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

News - Foundation


In Dialogue: Helen Frankenthaler’s Abstraction

Online Program by the Menil Collection

October 6, 2020

Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, joins Natalie Dupêcher, Assistant Curator of Modern Art, for a conversation about Helen Frankenthaler’s pivotal role in post-war American art. They will consider how the artist pioneered a highly original form of abstraction by looking at a selection of her works, including the monumental painting Hybrid Vigor, 1973, which is currently on view in the Menil Collection. On loan from a private collection, it is the first time this work is presented at a museum since it was acquired in the 1970s.


Fall Grants Provide Support for Cultural Projects Fostering Equity and Access and for Arts Institutions Impacted by COVID-19

October 1, 2020

The Foundation announces new grants supporting small art museums impacted by COVID-19 and a roster of new two-year grants for digital initiatives and professional advancement opportunities for students and recent graduates that enhance equity and access in the arts.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler, New Paths, 1973, acrylic and marker on canvas, 54 ¾ x 109 inches © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photograph by Robert McKeever, courtesy Gagosian


Archive: Helen Frankenthaler, Kinfolk Magazine

by Tim Hornyak

September 9, 2020

"Archive: Helen Frankenthaler," a feature by Tim Hornyak considers Frankenthaler's life, work and impact on the course of American abstract painting.


New York City Art Foundations to Give Aid to Tri-State, Non-Salaried Workers in the Visual Arts

April 28, 2020

The Willem de Kooning Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Teiger Foundation, and the Cy Twombly Foundation, as part of their respective COVID-19 relief efforts, have established an emergency relief grant program that will provide aid to Tri-State non-salaried workers in the visual arts who have experienced financial hardship from lack of income or opportunity as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. The program, initiated by The Willem de Kooning Foundation, will be administered in partnership with nonprofit arts service organization New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA).



Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Awards $2.5 Million to Endow Doctoral Programs at Five Universities

January 28, 2020

The Foundation announced the selection of five new institutional partners for Frankenthaler Scholarships, a multi-year initiative that has dedicated more than $4 million to art and art history graduate programs around the country. For the program’s next phase, the Foundation is awarding $500,000 to five different universities—The Graduate Center, CUNY; Harvard University; Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; Stanford University; and University of Chicago—to support the creation of named endowments that will offer one or more annual fellowships for doctoral students studying art history. These endowment gifts build on the inaugural round of Frankenthaler Scholarships, which support MFA programs in painting.

Image: Students from the second and third years of UCLA’s MFA Painting program with Professor Silke Otto-Knapp and HFF Executive Director Elizabeth Smith. 


Foundation for Contemporary Arts Announces the Establishment of the Annual Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting

January 6, 2020

Foundation for Contemporary Arts announced the creation of The Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting, a new $40,000 award in memory of the artist Helen Frankenthaler, who was one of FCA’s early supporters. Presented to an individual artist demonstrating Frankenthaler’s passion for innovation and experimentation in the medium, this annual grant is underwritten by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and administered through FCA’s distinguished Grants to Artists program. 


The inaugural Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting will be made to New York-based artist Kerstin Brätsch.


Image: Helen Frankenthaler in her East Eighty-third Street studio, New York, in front of Hybrid Vigor (1973), 1973. Photo by Edward Youkilis/Courtesy Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Archives, New York/Artwork © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Helen Frankenthaler and James Schuyler: A Correspondence

By Douglas Dreishpoon

January 1, 2020


“Helen Frankenthaler and James Schuyler: A Correspondence”, an essay by the Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné Douglas Dreishpoon exploring the relationship between artist Helen Frankenthaler and poet James Schuyler published in this Winter issue of the Paris Review.