Bennington College Receives $5 Million for Visual Arts Program

Bennington College in Vermont has announced a $5 million endowment bequest from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

The largest single gift ever awarded by the foundation will establish the Helen Frankenthaler Fund for the Visual Arts and provide support for all aspects of the school's visual arts program, including curricula, facilities, programs, and faculty. In recognition of the gift, the visual arts wing of the college's 120,000-square-foot arts facility will be renamed the Helen Frankenthaler Visual Arts Center.

Born in 1928, Frankenthaler is widely credited for playing a pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting. Following her graduation from Bennington in 1949, she remained committed to the college throughout her lifetime, serving as a trustee from 1967 to 1982.

"We are thrilled that the foundation has chosen to honor Helen's legacy in this way," said Bennington president Mariko Silver. "Hers was a genius marked by artistry and deep intellect, and Bennington takes special pride in having played a role in cultivating both. With the foundation's generous support, we look forward to developing those same qualities in the next generation of artists."