Vivian B. Allen Foundation Records, 1946-1972
Vivian B. Allen (VBA) Foundation was created in 1938 in New York State by Vivian Beaumont Allen with the stated purpose, "to promote the well-being of mankind in the United States of America and elsewhere in the world, including as a means to that end research, publication, the establishment and maintenance of charitable, benevolent, religious and educational activities, agencies and institutions already established." Upon Mrs. Allen’s death in 1962, VBA Foundation began to liquidate itself and was dissolved in 1971.
The records consist of correspondence between VBA Foundation and grant applicants, including notification of awards or rejections, and descriptions of projects under consideration for grants; and administrative records and correspondence of the Board of Directors, including Board meeting agenda and minutes, and Memoranda distributed to the Board Members. The collection contains records dating back to 1946.
This collection is open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.
Presented by Foundation Center, New York, New York, as part of initial Historical Foundation Collection, May 1997. A1997-007.
Processed by Michael A. Piper, September 1997.
Unfortunately, there is not much extant biographical evidence on Vivian Beaumont Allen. We do know that she created the foundation with the dream of continuing the work of her father, a pioneer in medical rehabilitation. She specifically sought to advance the well-being of mankind through the support of medical and nursing education (in the form of scholarships for deserving students), the support of religious and social charities (such as the Salvation Army and numerous Settlement Houses in New York City), and the support of the arts (particularly theater and opera). Two major accomplishments of Mrs. Allen are the National Rehabilitation Center at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, which was built in the memory of her father, and the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which houses the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center.
When Mrs. Allen died in 1962, her daughter Josephine Pope took over leadership of the Foundation and helped to tighten the focus on its giving patterns. In order to meet the stipulations set forth in Mrs. Allen’s will, the Foundation began to limit its donations to strictly medical and nursing education, international student assistance, population control and family planning, and a few social charities. This was a very pronounced move away from the highly personalized pattern of giving to which Mrs. Allen had been prone in earlier years. During the mid- to late sixties, for reasons not given in the records, the Foundation began to liquidate its assets and in 1971 legally dissolved.
The Board Members included: Vivian Beaumont Allen, President 1938-1962; Mrs. Shepard Krech, Vice-President 1938-1965; Caroline Dent, Secretary ?-1950; Beekman Pool, Secretary 1950-1971; George Warren, Treasurer ?-1971; Josephine Pope, Trustee 1957-1962, President 1962-1971; Dr. Frode Jensen, Vice-President 1965-1971; Mrs. H.A. Inness-Brown, Trustee 1938-1960; Logan Fulrath, Trustee 1960-1966; Arthur W. Pope, Trustee 1963-1967, Director 1967-1971.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Records of the Vivian B. Allen Foundation contain two series:
Applicant Correspondence, consists of appeals from various organizations and individuals requesting the assistance of the VBA Foundation; letters from VBA to the applicants either confirming a grant or donation, requesting more information, or stating regrets for a refusal; and informational packets either sent to VBA by applicants or gathered by VBA for use by the Board Members in making grant decisions.
In the mid-1950's VBA changed its policy of granting scholarship aid directly to students and began a program of creating endowments at institutions which would then be used to make the scholarships available to deserving students. For this reason, during this time period applicants began to change from individual students requesting aid to institutions making endowment appeals. Individual student appeals are filed under the institution at which they were to be studying.
Administrative Records and Correspondence, include the minutes and agenda of Board meetings; memoranda sent to Board Members from either the Foundation Secretary (Beekman Pool) or other Board Members; general correspondence between Board Members concerning Foundation business; financial documentation and correspondence, including annual financial statements and dissolution documents; and legal correspondence with the Foundation’s legal counsel.
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Last updated by bburk on 07/05/2010