Vermont’s Bennington College announced today that the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has donated $5 million to its arts programs, and that it will rename the section of its arts center that is devoted to visual arts after the abstract painter, who died in 2011 at the age of 83. Frankenthaler was a Bennington alumna, graduating from the liberal arts school in 1949, when it was still an all-women’s school.
From the college’s news release:
Clifford Ross, chairman of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation board of trustees and a nephew of the artist, said, “Helen‘s education at Bennington was critical to shaping her sensibility as a young artist, nurturing a spirit of risk-taking, experimentation, and inquiry that formed the basis of her creative process. The foundation is delighted to be making this gift.”
Frankenthaler had three solo shows at Bennington, and served as a trustee between 1967 and 1982.
It sounds like she had a pretty good time in college. Here’s a tribute she gave to the school in 2007, from the news release: “All of my Bennington memories melt into one joyful stream of laughter, invention, serious concerned pursuits, intense friendships, and the opening of my already ‘analytic mind.”