On Friday, March 7, the American College of Greece in Athens will celebrate the generous donations of artist Frances Rich (1910-2007) by naming the institution’s School of Fine and Performing Arts in her honor. The gifts of the actress and sculptor, bequeathed by her estate in October 2012, include almost $2 million in funding as well as a collection of Rich’s work and that of other artists. The funds, now allocated to the Frances L. Rich Endowed Fund, will provide financial support for ACG’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. The ACG Art Gallery, located on the school campus in the basement of the John S. Bailey Library, will host the naming ceremony at 7 p.m., along with the opening of “SelfConscious,” an exhibition jointly organized by the Visual Arts and Art History departments.
During her long life Rich demonstrated her esteem of education and passion for the arts. She studied English literature at Smith College in Massachusetts and sculpture under Malvina Hoffman in Paris and under Alexandre Iacovleff at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. For 18 years she also worked with the renowned sculptor Carl Milles. Rich’s work can be seen in the Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, the University of California, Berkeley, CA, the Boston Public Library and The de Young Museum, San Francisco.
Rich first established a relationship with the American College of Greece when she met her friend Koralia Krokodilou, past Pierce dean of students, in 1947 in Massachusetts. In 1958 Rich visited Athens for the first time with American actress Katharine Hepburn, a close friend. In 1970, the American College of Greece installed “The Mount Hymettus Saint Francis of Assisi,” one in a series of well-known sculptures by Rich, on its campus to honor Krokodilou.
Rich’s donation to the School of Fine and Performing Arts, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on the visual arts, music and theater arts, is the largest gift that the American College of Greece has received in its 137 years. This bequest will serve as a significant resource for the school as its programs in the visual arts, music and theater expand.
ACG Art Gallery, The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias, Aghia Paraskevi, Athens, tel 210.600.9800, www.acgart.gr