New York City-based jeweler Tiffany & Co. has announced the establishment of the Tiffany & Co. Foundation to support nonprofit groups dedicated to the decorative, performing, and visual arts; arts and crafts education; arts preservation; and environmental conservation.
"Throughout our history, community service has been as much a part of Tiffany as customer service, quality, and craftsmanship," said Tiffany & Co. president and CEO Michael J. Kowalski. "In establishing this foundation, we fulfill our role as stewards of this great legacy, which has long been dedicated to strengthening and protecting our cultural and natural resources."
Kowalski, who will serve as president of the foundation, also announced an initial round of grants totaling $1,115,000. A significant portion of that total celebrates the relationship between jewelry designer Elsa Peretti and the Fashion Institute of Technology, which mounted a 1990 exhibition of her work in honor of her fifteenth anniversary with Tiffany. On the heels of the exhibition, Tiffany established the Elsa Peretti Endowed Scholarship at FIT, which is awarded annually to a student majoring in jewelry design.
In recognition of Ms. Peretti's twenty-fifth anniversary with the company, Tiffany has contributed $750,000 — the single largest contribution in its history — to FIT's Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. The gift establishes the Elsa Peretti Professorship in Jewelry Design, the first endowed professorship in the history of the school.
Other gifts awarded by the foundation include $250,000 to the Fresh Air Fund for the Fund's newly constructed arts and crafts center — to be named for Ms. Peretti — and four grants totaling $115,000 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution; the Wildlife Conservation Society; and the Rhode Island School of Design.