Big Art Collection & Big Arts Philanthropists: How the Krauses Give

Today we continue our deep dive examining some of Goldman Sachs' most storied partners. Another former Goldman partner, Peter S. Kraus, owned a 0.60 percent stake in the company before the firm's 1999 IPO. After Kraus' more than two decade career at Goldman, he went on to work for Merrill Lynch, reportedly earning a $25 million bonus for three months' work as a strategist. Kraus currently serves as chairman of the board and CEO of AllianceBernstein, a global asset management firm with some $470 billion under management. 

It's unclear how much Kraus is currently worth, but he and his wife, Jill, have a foundation called the Kraus Family Foundation, which flies under the radar. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation held some $9.3 million in assets and gave away around $4.3 million. Kraus and Jill are prominent art collectors, and have been featured on ArtNews' Top 200 art collectors list. Jill is a former design director of Avon Products and currently chairs the board of Public Art Fund, a "nonprofit arts organization that presents the work of contemporary artists in New York's public spaces." She also sits on the boards of the New Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The couple has given some of their collection to art museums. For instance, Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video installation, "The Clock" was given to MoMA. 

The couple, through their charitable vehicle, have recently supported a long stream of arts and culture outfits including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (which received $1.25 million), MoMA (which received some $1.3 million), Mass MOCA, Public Art Fund, Creative Capital Foundation, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, Little Opera Theater, The Drawing Center, and Harlem Stage. The couple has also funded Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, which "empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Lower Manhattan and beyond."

The Krauses' arts philanthropy has also involved Jill's alma mater, Carnegie Mellon, home to the Kraus Campo, a roof garden and landscape design space. The Krauses have also supported Kraus' alma mater Trinity College, and set up the the Jill G. and Peter S. Kraus '74 Fund for Presidential Scholars. Kraus was once a trustee of the school. In a recent fiscal year, the couple, through their foundation, gave Trustees of Trinity College $250,000. Other education grantees include Stanford Library Capital Campaign, Harlem School of the Arts, Claremont McKenna College, The Naples Children & Education Foundation, and Learning Leaders, "New York City’s largest and most experienced organization dedicated to engaging families and communities to support student success."

The Kraus couple has other interests too. Their health philanthropy of late has mainly focused on hospitals such as Blythedale Children's Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital. They've also shown a particular preference for neurological disorders. They've bankrolled, for instance, Cure PSP, the "leading nonprofit advocacy organization focused on prime of life neurodegenerative diseases." Kraus and Jill also earmark funds for human services and youth, with grants going to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of NY, Citizens Committee for Children, Henry Street Settlement, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Harlem RBI, and Search & Care, whose mission is to "seek out older people in the community who need help in managing life's daily activities or accessing essential services."

Kraus is still very much engaged in business, but as major art collectors, Peter and Jill Kraus should be watched for greater giving down the line, particularly in the arts.

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