The Andy Warhol Foundation

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established in New York in 1987. Although Warhol’s own radical artistic experimentation was cut tragically short by his unexpected passing at the age of 58, he had generously made arrangements to help future generations of artists break new ground. He called for the creation of a foundation dedicated to “advancement of the visual arts,” in his will, leaving nearly his entire estate to the cause.

Since its inception, the Foundation’s purpose has been to support experimental and challenging new artistic activity in the most meaningful way possible, and to preserve and expand Warhol’s artistic legacy. Those two goals are intertwined: every initiative the Foundation supports is considered through the lens of Warhol’s maverick approach to art and life, from his fundamental sense of freedom to be new and different, to his forward-thinking generosity.


In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the Foundation has given nearly $300 million in cash grants to more than 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.

The Foundation encourages a deeper understanding and appreciation of Warhol’s artistic and cultural influence by providing access to Warhol’s work and encouraging new Warhol scholarship, most notably, through the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which was formed through the donation of thousands of artworks and archival materials from the Foundation; the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Project; and through the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, an immense ongoing scholarly project funded by the Foundation.

The Foundation is dedicated to supporting the creation of new work by experimental visual artists. Funding reaches artists through flexible grants awarded to the organizations and institutions that support them. Driven by the belief that visual art is an essential form of communication, and that innovative creative expression is a crucial component to an open and enlightened democracy, the Foundation funds projects and organizations that challenge art historical and social conventions, address systemic inequities, and push art in new directions, whether through content, concept, aesthetics, process, techniques, or materials.

Types of Grants

The Foundation offers three types of grants—Curatorial Research Fellowships, Exhibition support, and multiyear program grants. We also serve the needs of artists through an invitational Regional Re-granting program and two ongoing Special Initiatives: Creative Capital and the Arts Writers Grant.

Grants are made on a project basis to curatorial programs at museums, artists’ organizations, and other cultural institutions to originate innovative and scholarly presentations of contemporary visual arts. Projects may include exhibitions, catalogues, and other organizational activities directly related to these areas. The program also supports the creation of new work through regranting initiatives and artist-in-residence programs. The foundation values the contributions of all artists, reflecting the true diversity of the contemporary art field, and encourages proposals that highlight women, artists of color, and under-represented practitioners.

Scholarly research undertaken in the field of contemporary art is funded through Curatorial Research Fellowships. Curators at any stage of their careers are eligible to apply and must have the formal support of an insitution and its director. It is assumed that research will lead to a significant exhibition, though this is not a requirement. Generally these fellowships are for projects with long lead times and may involve significant travel. Grants to curators do not preclude separate proposals from sponsoring institutions in any given grant round.

Grants are also made to support efforts to strengthen areas that directly affect the context in which artists work. In 2006 the Foundation formally designated one of its grants The Wynn Kramarsky Freedom of Artistic Expression Award to recognize the work of organizations with a deep-seated commitment to preserving and defending the First Amendment rights of artists. Named in honor of the Foundation’s former Board Chair, the grant rewards outstanding advocacy, legal, and curatorial efforts on behalf of those whose rights to free expression have been challenged.

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Andy Warhol Foundation Grants
December 31, 2024
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The Foundation actively supports the advancement of the visual arts through an extensive artist-centered grantmaking program. Our aim is to encourage and facilitate the production of original work that expands and enhances the contemporary art field. Our grants serve the...