Skip to main content

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-07-28

At A Glance

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

90 Park Ave.

New York City, NY United States 10016-1302

Telephone: (212) 687-4470


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business; Entertainment; Politics; Other

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $271,196,291

Total giving: $8,524,600






Incorporated in 1925 in NY - Founded by the late United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife as a memorial to a son who died Apr. 26, 1922. Simon Guggenheim was the president of the American Smelting and Refining Co. and served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 1907-1913. Senator and Mrs. Guggenheim made an initial gift of $3 million to the foundation, which was later supplemented by an additional gift of $1 million to include Latin American Scholarships. The foundation is administered by a board of trustees and corporate officers. They are assisted in the selection of fellows by an educational advisory board, its Committees of Selection, and panels of advisors composed of prominent members of the academic and artistic communities.

Purpose and Activities

Fellowships offered to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. Fellowships are awarded by the trustees upon nomination by a Committee of Selection. Awards are made to citizens and permanent residents of the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The foundation decided to suspend its Latin American and Caribbean competition for the year 2016 while it examines the workings and efficacy of the program. The U.S. and Canadian competition is unaffected by this suspension.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Fellowships to Assist Research and Artistic Creation

Fellowships are awarded through three annual competitions: two open to citizens and permanent residents of the United States and Canada, and the other open to citizens and permanent residents of Latin America and the Caribbean. The fellowships will be awarded by the trustees upon nominations made by a selection committee. The fellowships are awarded to men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. The foundation consults with distinguished scholars and artists regarding the accomplishments and promise of the applicants and presents this evidence to the selection committee. Guggenheim Fellowships are grants to selected individuals made for a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months. Since the purpose of the program is to help provide fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible, grants are made freely. No special conditions attach to them, and Fellows may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work. The United States IRS, however, does require the foundation to ask for reports from its Fellows at the end of their Fellowship terms. Guggenheim Fellowships are not scholarships, and they are not available to those who seek to complete their training either as undergraduate, graduate, or part-time students. They are also not intended for immediate postgraduate work. The amounts of the grants will be adjusted to the needs of the fellows, considering their other resources and the purpose and scope of their plans. Members of the teaching profession receiving sabbatical leave on full or part salary are eligible for appointment, as are holders of other fellowships and of appointments at research centers.

Grants to Individuals Program

Fellowships to published authors, exhibited artists, researchers, and others in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Fields of Interest

  • Conflict resolution
  • Humanities
  • International peace and security
  • International relations
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Photography
  • Public safety
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Social sciences
  • Visual arts
International Interests
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Latin America
Population Groups
  • Victims and oppressed people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $271,196,291 (market value)

Gifts received: $667,641

Expenditures: $18,220,379

Total giving: $8,524,600

Qualifying distributions: $12,791,809

Giving activities include:

$8,524,600 for 307 grants to individuals (high: $55,000; low: $2,000)