We are extremely sad to lose our beloved colleague Kynaston McShine. Kynaston joined our Board in 1995, one year after the opening of the American Center’s new building in Paris. He was one of the small group of Trustees who navigated the American Center in difficult circumstances, from the closing of the building in 1996 to the establishment of a grant-making foundation. The Foundation has been steered directly by arts and museum professionals since then.
During his 21-year tenure on the Board, Kynaston never ceased to compel us to think about things differently. Always straightforward, critical and lucid, he never shied away from speaking his mind during our deliberations. As the world and the arts landscape were changing, he kept his focus on art-making and in the present.
Kynaston recognized the lack of support for younger, independent or junior curators in institutions to travel and pursue research to develop new projects. This led to one of his most important and lasting contributions as a Trustee, the establishment in 2001 of the Foundation’s program to support such travel and research, which continues today.
Kynaston’s rigorous commitment was an essential part of who he was and cannot be replaced. We will miss him dearly.
The Board of the Foundation for Arts Initiatives
The Foundation for Arts Initiatives is a private foundation that has been making grants in the arts since 1999, independent of any governments, agencies, NGOs, or their related agendas. It has its own endowment and does not rely on donors or public sources. FfAI’s independence is central to its work and identity.
FfAI is run by a Board of museum directors, curators and heads of arts organizations around the world that is actively engaged in all funding and policy decisions and in considering all proposals.
Formerly known as the American Center Foundation, FfAI is the successor to the American Center in Paris, a cultural center that championed avant-garde work in the arts. Today, FfAI’s grant programs support curators, arts institutions, and special projects in the visual arts.