Today’s post comes from Taylor Shoolery, class of 2012 and Art Center student docent.

Blanchette Ferry Hooker Rockefeller (1909-1992), class of 1931, from the A Taste for the Modern catalogue

Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, Vassar College class of 1931, was passionate about modern art.  She served as the president of MoMa twice and was an avid collector and donor.  In fact, Mrs. Rockefeller donated over one hundred works of art to Vassar.  Her husband, John D. Rockefeller did not share quite the same affinity for the art she loved and did not want it on display in their New York City home, so with her own funds from her father’s estate, Mrs. Rockefeller purchased an Upper East Side town house where she could hang her collection and entertain guests.  The apartment was modern, minimalist, and complete with a Japanese reflecting pool.  The space was frequently used for exhibitions and as a location to entertain the members of the Junior Council and the International Council of MoMa.  In 1955, Mrs. Rockefeller donated the apartment to MoMa.  Her continual generosity to MoMa and to the Art Center here at Vassar has not gone unnoticed.  Today, we celebrate the gifts from Mrs. Rockefeller and from two other distinguished alumnae, Edna Bryner Schwab and Virginia Herrick Deknatel, in the exhibition A Taste for the Modern.  The exhibition is up through September 4.

Mrs. Rockefeller in her senior year at Vassar, from the Vassar Encyclopedia.

Below are images of two works Mrs. Rockefeller donated to Vassar, which are on display at the Art Center now.

Mark Rothko, No. 1, 1948-9, Oil on Canvas

Paul Klee, Swan Pond, 1937, Black gouache over white ground or gesso