$10 Million Gift Elevates ICA’s Artist-Centered Mission

Portrait: Daniel W. Dietrich, II. Photo: Shira Yudkof. (2015)

Daniel W. Dietrich II. Photo: Shira Yudkof.

Amy Sadao, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania, announces a monumental gift of $10 million for ICA’s curatorial program generously given by Daniel W. Dietrich, II. The largest gift in the museum’s history nearly doubles ICA’s endowment. This transformational gift supports ICA’s artist-centered mission and guarantees multi-year curatorial research and exhibition development opportunities, which will preserve and strengthen the generative relationship between the museum, curators, and artists that is at ICA’s core.

For more than fifty years, ICA has been a world-leading contemporary art museum committed to supporting the work of emerging and under-recognized artists. This significant gift will further strengthen ICA’s profile and reputation as an artist-centered institute by providing our curators resources for significant research, time to develop relationships with artists and their work, and an unfettered source of exhibition support. It is crucial to ICA’s mission to seek work thatilluminates our contemporary moment and challenges us to think in new ways.This endowment allows ICA’s curators and artists wide latitude to engage with what is difficult and daring; to investigate unknown territories, new exhibition strategies, and alternative presentations; and to take invaluable risks.

“It is important for ICA to take risks and probe things that curatorially have not been possible before”says Mr. Dietrich. “The time aspect of research and building relationships withartists is enormous and the trajectory is as long as it takes. That is the whole purpose, the spirit of this, that sense of exploration out into space for what we don’t know.”

“Penn is deeply grateful to friends like Daniel Dietrich,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “His incomparable vision, his steadfast generosity, and his wise counsel have benefitted ICA for decades. And now he has once again stepped forward to take a leadership role in bolstering the very foundations of this forward-thinking institution.”

Mr. Dietrich, a stalwart supporter of ICA, is President of The Dietrich Foundation and The Daniel W. Dietrich, II Trust, nonprofits that principally support higher education and arts institutions in Pennsylvania and New York. Mr. Dietrich has been a Board member of ICA since 1969.

While the Dietrich family has deep connections with the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Dietrich earned an art history degree from Hamilton College in New York and has since devoted himself to supporting artists and arts organizations as a benefactor and friend. ICA has always been a central focus of his philanthropic interests. In 2005 he helped lead a capital campaign for ICA by endowing the Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director, the position now held by Amy Sadao. Mr. Dietrich has been involved with the planning and construction of visual and performing arts facilities throughout the country.

“With this gift, Dan sets ICA on an exciting new path to greatly expand our program, outreach, and the ICA experience. Endowing ICA’s core principles extends the vision he has helped shape for more than forty-five years,” says Ms. Sadao. “There is no truer or more courageous arts patron than Dan.”