Jackson Pollock, Untitled (M9), 1944. Courtesy Washburn Gallery, New York. © Pollock-Krasner Foundation/ARS

OVERVIEW

Through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstract expressionist painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation was established in 1985 to provide financial assistance to individual working visual artists of established ability.

The Foundation is pleased to report that since its inception in 1985, it has awarded over 4,600 grants totaling nearly 77 million dollars to artists in 78 countries.

POLLOCK-KRASNER LEGACY

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in Pollock's studio, East Hampton, 1950.

<span>Photograph by Rudolph Burckhardt. ©Estate of Rudolph Burckhardt, courtesy Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY.</span>
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in Pollock's studio, East Hampton, 1950. Photograph by Rudolph Burckhardt. ©Estate of Rudolph Burckhardt, courtesy Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY.

Both artists finished their training just as the Great Depression of the 1930s was devastating the U.S. economy. Millions of people were out of work, and the prospects for young unknown artists were dim. Fortunately Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal administration created employment programs that included workers in the arts, and both Pollock and Krasner took advantage of them. From 1935 to 1943, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project gave them, and thousands of other artists nationwide, a living wage to do the work for which they were trained. The agency’s non-discriminatory hiring policy was based on artistic merit and financial need. Freed from the demands of the commercial art market, artists made murals, easel paintings, and other works for public buildings. And they experimented with new approaches, paving the way for Abstract Expressionism’s emergence after World War II.

Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock on their Springs property, ca. 1946. <span> Photograph by Ronald J. Stein. © Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY. Gift of the Estate of Ronald J. Stein. </span>
Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock on their Springs property, ca. 1946. Photograph by Ronald J. Stein. © Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY. Gift of the Estate of Ronald J. Stein.
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in Pollock's studio, East Hampton, 1949. <span> Photograph by Lawrence Larkin. © Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY. Used by permission. </span>
Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in Pollock's studio, East Hampton, 1949. Photograph by Lawrence Larkin. © Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY. Used by permission.

Lee Krasner never forgot the personal and professional advantages she and Pollock received on the WPA, and was mindful of the lack of such opportunities in the contemporary art world. In planning her legacy, she envisioned a charitable organization that would serve a similar function: to relieve the financial burden on recognized professional artists so they can practice and advance their work. Her prudent management of Pollock’s estate, as well as her own successful career, provided the initial funding to make that vision a reality.

-Helen Harrison, Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Director, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY

Lee Krasner, <em>Mural Study for Studio A</em> Radio Station NYC, 1941.    
<span>Gouache on paper, 19 1/2 x 29 in. Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.</span>
Lee Krasner, Mural Study for Studio A Radio Station NYC, 1941. Gouache on paper, 19 1/2 x 29 in. Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Jackson Pollock <em>untitled</em>, ca. 1938-41. 
<span>Glass mosaic in cement on wooden support, 54 x 24 in. Courtesy Washburn Gallery 
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.</span>
Jackson Pollock untitled, ca. 1938-41. Glass mosaic in cement on wooden support, 54 x 24 in. Courtesy Washburn Gallery 
© The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND ACTIVITIES

In 2020 the Pollock-Krasner Foundation celebrates thirty-four years of grant making to individual artists, continuing to fulfill our mandate to support worthy visual artists. Since our inception in 1985 we have been privileged to award nearly $77,000,000 to over 4,600 grantees in 78 countries. Our grants continue to be utilized for a broad variety of artists’ needs ranging from supplies and casting materials to purchasing medical insurance.

We offer older artists of distinction and achievement our three-year Lee Krasner Awards celebrating their noteworthy careers. We also have instituted an annual award, the Pollock Prize for Creativity, in honor of our thirty years of grant making. Both of these awards are by nomination only. Finally, we are now awarding grants, through a closed nomination process, to fine art photographers. In addition to supporting individual artists, we continue to award grants to outstanding arts organizations or institutions that are making a direct contribution to the well-being of artists.

In reviewing our three-decade history, we are acutely aware that the struggle of talented artists to stabilize their careers and have time and resources to do their work is a never-ending challenge. While there are instances of increased funding and renewed interest of government support for individual artists here and abroad, the reality is, that this support (whether federal, state, or local) continues to be precarious. There is still a lack of support from foundations, corporations, and wealthy donors toward this end.

There is no way that we can adequately express our appreciation to the distinguished men and women who have served anonymously on our Committee of Selection, which reviews all of our applicants’ submissions and advises on artistic merit. This committee, composed of museum officials, artists, patrons, and critics, has demonstrated a cross-cultural expertise in judging contemporary art and is highly qualified to recognize artistic merit from whatever country, style, school, or technique.

Finally, we express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to our remarkable staff of committed and congenial colleagues and the devotion of our Executive Vice President, Kerrie Buitrago. These individuals have made a major contribution to the success, reputation, and impact of our Foundation.

RONALD D. SPENCER
Chairman & CEO
SAMUEL SACHS II
President

LEADERSHIP

OFFICERS

Ronald D. Spencer
Chairman & CEO
Samuel Sachs II
President
Kerrie Buitrago
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

STAFF

Caroline Black
Program Director
Beth Cochems
Grants Manager
Glynnis Dolbee
Inventory Manager
Jennifer Gillett
Office Manager

These countries include:

Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Bolivia
Brazil
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
England
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Lithuania
Macedonia
Mexico
Mongolia
Namibia
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Scotland
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Serbia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad
Turkey
Ukraine
United States
Uruguay
Vietnam
Wales
Yugoslavia (former)
Zimbabwe