The Marieluise Hesse Foundation announced a donation of US $ 25 million to an art conservation institution that it helped start 30 years ago at Bard College.
The donation will be matched dollar to dollar by billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros. Through his Open Society Foundations, Soros pledged $ 500 million in April to Bard, a liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, about 90 minutes north of Manhattan.
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is the first such institution in the United States to focus solely on curatorial studies, an interdisciplinary field that prepares students for the practice of contemporary art and for the realization of exhibitions. Her alumni include Cecilia Alemani, Ruba Katrib, Sohrab Mohebbi, Serubiri Moses, and Gabi Ngcobo.
A collector of German origin, Marieluise Hessel has supported the institution over the past three decades through its eponymous foundation. These efforts include entrusting a collection of approximately 2,000 works of art to CCS Bard, providing financial assistance to students, and establishing the Hessel Museum of Art on campus.
“Over the past 30 years, CCS Bard has had a disproportionate impact in the art world,” Hessel said in a statement. “I know this program will continue to lead the way in finding new stories to tell, artists to champion and boundaries to push.”
The US $ 50 million endowment is expected to support the institution’s programs in perpetuity. CCS Bard currently hosts two exhibitions from the Hessel Collection: Closer to life: drawings and works on paper present more than 75 works on paper and drawings collected by Hesse, and will be on display until October 17; With pleasure: Pattern and decoration in American art 1972-1985, featuring artwork created during the Pattern and Decoration movement led by women in the 1970s and 1980s in North America, is on view until November 28.