National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations


The National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, AEFI’s principle research endeavor, is the first effort to define and describe the field of private foundations created by visual artists in the U.S. Though a small portion of all private foundations, these distinctively endowed entities are growing in number and as such, represent a potential force shaping cultural philanthropy and stewarding this country’s postwar and contemporary art heritage.

The Study’s findings provide an overview of the artist-endowed foundation field, its origins, current status, trends, and prospects. The findings also document considerations and effective practice in forming, sustaining, and terminating artist-endowed foundations, as well as planning and conducting foundations’ charitable programs.

The Study is an ongoing research endeavor–periodic updates are issued at regular intervals. With research initiated in 2007, the Study’s first findings were released in 2010, published in a two-volume Study Report. The framework for quantitative data analysis focused comparatively on benchmark years at five-year intervals, from 1990 to 2005. This analysis was brought forward an additional five-year interval, to 2010, in an update to the Study Report published in 2013. Looking forward, analysis of the next five-year increment, for 2015, by necessity will be timed to data availability; data for the greatest number of foundations most likely will be available in 2017.

Access the Executive Summary of AEFI’s Study Report Update 2013 HERE.