Skip to main content

Chaloner Prize Foundation records, 1915-1974

Historical Note

The Chaloner Prize Foundation was founded in 1890 by John Armstrong Chaloner in New York, NY, for the purpose of granting awards to individual artists for study of art in Paris. Initially known as the "Paris Prize Fund," held by the United States Trust Company of New York, the fund relied on contributions from art patrons such as Henry and Arthur Astor Carey. Due to personal troubles Chaloner could not manage the account and passed power of attorney to others. By 1917 the Trust had made only two grants. That year Chaloner brough suit against Bankers Trust Company and "others" in order to incorporate the foundation. The subsequent legal judgement by the New York State Supreme Court created the grant-administering institution.
Following the 1917 reorganization, the Foundation's first award for Paris Prize was $4,800 plus travel expenses to John Ferris Connah for five years (1921-1926). Subsequent awards were $6,000 with grantees selected every other year. With the beginning of World War II, Europe was not longer a secure place for visiting artists, and the 1939 and 1940 award recipients studied in Mexico. No further grants were given until 1948.
Lawton S. Parker, Charles A. Platt, and William Rand, Jr. were appointed to the first board of trustees. George F. Lewis was appointed as Foundation clerk. He maintained correspondence, set up board meetings, and communicated with artists as needed. When Charles Platt and William Rand, Jr. died in the early 1930s, they were succeeded by their sons, William Platt and Robert Rand. Shortly after Lewis resigned in 1938, S. LeRoy French secretary.
In 1969 national legislation regarding tax-exempt foundations made the future increasingly uncertain for trusts like the Chaloner Prize Foundation. In 1973 a final grant was made to the American Academy in Rome to be used for a fellowship in sculpture. In 1974 the foundation was dissolved and all assets and records were transferred to the American Academy in Rome.