The Foundation Overview

The Joan Mitchell Foundation increases recognition of the work and life of pioneering abstract painter Joan Mitchell. Grounded in Mitchell’s desire to support the aspirations of visual artists, the Foundation engages individual artists through grantmaking, programming, and collaborations. We work to amplify the essential contributions artists make to the culturally diverse world in which we live.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation is both a model for how resources can be offered to artists, and an advocate for the value of artists. The impact the Foundation seeks to have is to help to create a world in which the following conditions exist:
  • Artists are valued and thriving
  • The visual artists who are recognized in contemporary culture reflect and represent the diverse world in which we live
  • A comprehensible and comprehensive set of systems provide resources for artists’ lives and careers

The Joan Mitchell Foundation is:
  • Artist-centered
  • Diverse in demographics and perspectives
  • Responsive
  • Comprehensive
  • Sustainable

Established in 1993, the Joan Mitchell Foundation is an artist-endowed non-profit organization. Our above mission and values are activated through a varied range of programming.

The Foundation includes the promotion and preservation of Joan Mitchell’s legacy as part of its mission. To fulfill this, the Foundation provides loans of Joan Mitchell artworks from its collection to museums, academic institutions and other non-profit arts spaces. The Foundation's archives house Mitchell's papers, including correspondence and photographs, and other archival materials related to her life and work.

The archives are open to all qualified researchers. Additionally, Foundation staff are available to answer reference questions and direct individuals to works by Joan Mitchell in museum collections. Staff also create educational materials to complement exhibitions and provide useful age appropriate materials for art educators. The Joan Mitchell Foundation Education & Research Center in Manhattan houses the archives and the Joan Mitchell Catalogue Raisonné Project, established in summer of 2014.

The Foundation awards grants directly to individual artists through its Painters & Sculptors, Emerging Artist, and Emergency Grant programs and provides funding to arts organizations that support visual artists in their respective communities. Since 1994, the Foundation has awarded grants to over eight hundred individual artists and provided funding to over eighty organizations.

Artist support is further provided by the Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) program, begun in 2006, that provides support to older artists in creating a comprehensive documentation of their careers. The CALL program has developed new ways to support mature artists through a range of tools, including the CALL Database, comprehensive resource workbooks, and by training emerging artists as Legacy Specialists.

The Joan Mitchell Center, an artist residency center founded in 2010 in New Orleans, developed to offer both time and space for artists to create work in a contemplative environment. In addition to the Artist-in-Residence Program, the Center curates and produces public programming that serves the broader community of New Orleans, and endeavors to serve as an incubator, conduit and resource for partnerships in the arts. 

From 1997–2016, the Foundation’s Art Education program provided free opportunities for both emerging youth and young adult artists through inclusive and diverse arts education programming. The program enhanced the artistic education of young painters and sculptors through studio classes, while supporting the artistic development of working painters and sculptors through teaching opportunities, and professional development training. The Foundation is not currently offering any studio or portfolio development classes, as we undertake a period of focused research and pilot innovative educational opportunities for the artist community. We look forward to sharing the new education model with you in 2018.

Contact Us:

Education & Research Center

137 West 25th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001

General Offices: (212) 524-0001
Archives: (212) 255-0033