September 13, 2006
Gladys and Franklin Clark Foundation gives $1 million for CW's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
The Gladys and Franklin W. Clark Foundation has made a $1 million grant to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in support of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, which is being relocated to the site of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A large gallery at the new museum site has been named for Gladys and Franklin Clark who established their Foundation in 1993.
The Clark Foundation is directed by three co-trustees, all active in the Williamsburg community: President Gilbert A. Bartlett, L. Alvin Garrison Jr. and Joseph W. Montgomery. The Clark Foundation has previously made two significant gifts to Colonial Williamsburg: in 1997, a $500,000 grant for the construction of new stables, and in 2000, a grant of $361,500, shared with the College of William & Mary, for the screening room in the renovated Kimball Theatre.
“This commitment by the Clark Foundation reflects Gladys and Franklin Clark’s high regard for Colonial Williamsburg and its place in the community as well as the important role that the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum plays in telling the story of our national culture,” Bartlett said.
The gallery will open Dec. 16 with its first exhibition, “We the People: Three Centuries of American Folk Portraits.”
“We are grateful to the Clark Foundation trustees for their most recent support of Colonial Williamsburg,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg. “The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum will welcome thousands more visitors in its new location. The Gladys and Franklin Clark Gallery is an exciting addition to the legacy of this remarkable couple.”
The Clarks spent much of their careers in Washington, D.C., where Franklin worked for the federal government and as a reference librarian, bibliographer and editor. Later, he worked with Gladys Clark, who was fluent in nine languages, in her translation agency, Language Service Bureau Inc. Mrs. Clark also bought and restored for resale several of Washington’s fine older buildings.
The Clarks retired to Williamsburg in 1973 where they became generous supporters of Colonial Williamsburg, the College of William & Mary and other local charitable organizations. They became life members of the Raleigh Tavern Society – Colonial Williamsburg’s premier donor society -- in 1992 when they established a charitable remainder trust to help endow the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library.
Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that restores, preserves and operates the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia, encompassed in the 301-acre Historic Area. Gifts to Colonial Williamsburg support program presentations in Historic Area buildings, trade shops and museums, acquisition and conservation of art and artifacts, building preservation and maintenance, production of publications and audiovisual programs and the research, documentation and interpretive training fundamental to the foundation’s educational activities. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C.