Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Eric Wolf

Second Advisor

Stephanie Jeanjean


In this paper, artist-endowed foundations are examined to assess the direct and indirect impact of their philanthropic activity on the art market. Beginning with an overview of historical and contextual variables paving the way for private philanthropy in the 20th century, specific case studies are analyzed--established foundations, as well as varying formats for smaller foundations, that illustrate the symbiotic relationship between the art market and artist-endowed foundations. Emphasis is placed on the newfound popularity of artists establishing foundations, and securing legacy, within their lifetimes rather than upon death, as this has the potential to yield the best results. Best practices are then identified for artists looking to establish 21st century foundations. Artist-endowed foundations have become instruments for not only securing legacy, but also fueling arts and culture more broadly. Future artist-endowed foundations should look to build upon
the success of their predecessors; their decisions will promote their artists’ legacies and support other artists in unique ways, as well as drive the art market and its audience to new heights. A circular model, where artists strengthen and support each other and art institutions, will be a final stage of development for an advanced art market.