Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports museums that want to expand their exhibitions and diversify their audiences using foundation collections. Schnitzer awards grants to museums for education and outreach activities, especially in the Pacific Northwest.

FUNDING AREAS: Contemporary art

IP TAKE: Museums are really the only grantees for this foundation’s giving. Portland museums fair well with Schnitzer—but don’t bother contacting this funder for non-museum support.

PROFILE: The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation has a passion for sharing art and aims to make contemporary prints and multiples from the family’s collections available to museums in diverse communities. This foundation also provides educational and outreach grants related to printmaking, as well as artistic scholarship.

This foundation was established in 1997 to manage the art collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family. It has held over 100 exhibitions at just as many museums since this program began. The foundation considers these collections a lending library; stewardship and education are of high importance to Schnitzer.

Schnitzer was first introduced to art at his mother’s contemporary art gallery in Portland, Oregon, which inspired him to become a collector. His collection exceeds 10,000 works of art and is the largest private print collection in the country. Today, he is the president of a privately owned real estate investment company in Portland called Harsch Investment Properties.

The best grant opportunities are for museums, which can request grants for exhibitions and to underwrite education and outreach. Frequently funded activities include community events, artist demonstrations, scholar lectures, and transportation for students to see exhibitions. The foundation likes to see museums use these works of art to engage audiences that might otherwise never see them or perhaps even visit the museum. It also likes to spark commentary about the printmaking medium. 

The foundation has given Portland State University $5 million for its art museum—more specifically, for the museum’s capital fund to renovate Neuberger Hall. A list of museums with which the foundation has collaborated is here. These museums are located all over the U.S. but are most often based in the Pacific Northwest.

Keep up with this funder on its news page. Previous topics of interest have been art that features or depicts disabled women activists, LGBT-themed pieces, and panel discussions with artists.


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