The New York Times‘s Robin Pogrebin reports on the conflict over the Judith Rothschild Foundation’s failure to deliver grant checks for awards made in 2009. The foundation’s head says the failure was simply because of illness and staff cutbacks. But Natalie Edgar, who runs one of the trusts that was meant to receive funds to help with a publication, thinks otherwise:
In her complaint to the attorney general’s charities bureau, filed this month, Ms. Edgar said she was particularly troubled by the fact that, even as the foundation was failing to pay out its grants, the Museum of Modern Art presented “Compass In Hand: Selections From the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection,” an exhibition of 354 works from a collection of about 2,500 by 650 artists that was amassed by Mr. Miller on behalf of the foundation from 2003 to 2005. The show, which opened last April and closed on Jan. 4, was the first public display of the collection, which experts estimated to be worth about $30 million in 2005.
“The logic is simple,” she said in her complaint, “Harvey Shipley Miller had been spending foundation assets on a shopping spree to buy 2,500 drawings of emerging artists — the cost would be in the multimillions of dollars.” “His shopping spree opposes the guidelines of the foundation,” she continued, “which was set up to support artists, mostly post World War II artists who died under-acknowledged.”
According to the foundation’s 2007 tax forms, the most recent that are publicly available, it ended that year with $13.8 million in total assets, $9.5 million of which was in artwork and about $4 million in property. About $250,000 was in liquid assets like cash. […]
Among the other grantees are the Drawing Center in New York; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.; the estate of Emilio Cruz in New York; the Delaware Art Museum; and the Orange County Museum of Art in California.
Artists Miffed Over Rothschild Foundation’s Missing Grant Money (New York Times)