Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

Fundación Cisneros
Leadership, Policy, and Communications
Scientific, Cultural, and Nonprofit Leadership

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo A. Cisneros, founded the Caracas and New York City-based Fundación Cisneros in the 1970s to help improve education throughout Latin America and to foster global awareness of the region’s heritage and many contributions to world culture. Some of the Foundation’s groundbreaking educational programs include media-oriented initiatives for literacy, teacher training and distance learning like ACUDE, Cl@se, Piensa en arte/Think Art and AME. They also created Mozarteum in Venezuela, a music education program for youth across the economic spectrum. An essential part of the Foundation is the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros [CPPC], comprising five different areas of Latin American material culture, from indigenous cultures to contemporary art. Its website serves as a forum for critical thinking from and about Latin America. In her twenties, Cisneros became the founder and director of the language department of the Simon Bolívar University in Caracas. As part of their donations program, in 2016, Cisneros donated 102 modern and contemporary artworks from the 1940s to 1990s to the Museum of Modern Art, establishing the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at MoMA. Additionally, she has donated 220 plus works of contemporary and colonial art throughout the USA, Europe and Latin America. Her memberships and awards include: Board of Trustees at MoMA and founder of the Latin American Committee [LACF], MoMA, New York; founding member of the International Friends of El Prado Museum, Visiting committee of Harvard Art Museums, Leone d´Oro di San Marcos, Italy; Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X, Spain; Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts, Spain, and the Légion d'honneur, France. She is a former board member of the Americas Society Chairman’s Council, board member of the Museo Reina Sofia and founding trustee of the Museo Reina Sofía Foundation a Trustee of the New York Botanical Garden, and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2020.

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