Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW:  The foundation is very active in New York City and the couple sits on numerous boards, most notably some of the city's most prominent arts museums. The foundation sends a steady stream of money to MoMA, the Met, and many of the other staples of New York City arts culture.

IP TAKE:  Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis are among the most preeminent art collector couples in the country. This appears to fuel the foundation's grantmaking which takes place predominantly at the local level. 

PROFILE: The Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation is helmed by private equity firm founder Henry R. Kravis and his prominent economist wife Marie-Josee Kravis. Oklahoma-born Henry R. Kravis co-founded Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) in the 1970s, a New York-based private equity firm that now has grown to have tens of billions in assets. Kravis was a 1980s leveraged buyouts titan and founded the Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation thereafter.

Kravis and his wife are serious art collectors and own Renoirs, Monets, and Louis XIV furniture. Since 2008, Kravis has also jointly owned a provocative Jasper Johns painting with St. Louis-based entrepreneur Donald Bryant. Each year, the businessmen/art aficionados trade custody of the painting. When Bryant was late one year in delivering the painting to New York, Kravis sued.

To that end, Kravis and Marie-Josee are deep into arts grantmaking in New York City. They appear to have a preference for modern art and their foundation has given heavily to MoMA and the Met. Kravis has a wing named after him at the Met and Marie-Josee is president of MoMA's board of trustees. 

The foundation has also given to many other famed New York arts and music institutions, including Lincoln Center Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the Morgan Library and Museum, and the Whitney Museum of Art. Kravis made a major donation to the New York Philharmonic in 2009 in honor of his wife, endowing the Composer-in-Residence position, and creating a prize for new music. The foundation has also supported the Centre Pompidou, a modern arts museum in Paris, France. 

Most of Kravis' grantmaking supports the organizations with which he has a personal affiliation. The foundation is not open to grant seekers and does not appear to have a website.  


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Marie Josee and Henry R. Kravis Foundation
c/o KKR Financial Services Foundation
730 5th Avenue 8th Floor
New York, NY 10019