Marica Vilcek, Philanthropist and Art Historian, Honored by NYU Institute of


NEW YORK, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts is renaming the Great Hall of the James B. Duke House “Marica Vilcek Great Hall” in honor of the Vilcek Foundation’s co-founder, vice chairman and secretary. 

Marica Vilcek has served on the Institute of Fine Arts’ board since 2013 and was appointed board chair in 2015. Since being appointed to the board, she has supported numerous fellowships in art history, conservation, and archaeology. In 2018—with her husband Jan Vilcek, cofounder, chairman and CEO of the Vilcek Foundation—Marica endowed the Institute of Fine Arts’ curatorial program. The Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Program ensures the Institute of Fine Arts’ position as a premier school in the training of curators for the global arts community. 

“The Institute and the Great Hall serve as a home for students, young curators, and scholars as they begin their careers and a host for so many vital functions in the fine arts,” says Marica. “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the Institute of Fine Arts in this manner. I am sincerely grateful to have my name affiliated in this meaningful way with the Institute.”  

Andrew Hamilton, President of New York University, stated, “As a board member and chair, Marica has steadfastly supported the Institute’s mission: excellence in scholarship and development of the next generation of leadership in art history and curation, archaeology, and conservatorship. I cannot think of a more apt distinction than to name the Great Hall, the heart of the IFA’s long-time home, after Marica, who has so devotedly sustained the heart of the Institute.”

Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, observed: “It is particularly fitting to have Marica Vilcek’s name grace our Great Hall because it’s emblematic of her role at the heart of the Institute. It is in this iconic space that we host so many of the Institute’s events, gatherings, and exhibitions. Future events and celebrations in this hall will take on a new meaning as we recognize such a devoted patron of the arts and of the Institute.”

Marica Vilcek and her husband immigrated to the United States from the former Czechoslovakia in 1965. Upon arriving in New York, Marica began work as a volunteer with the Brooklyn Museum. Shortly thereafter, she accepted a position with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the beginning of a career of 32 years with that institution. As the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s associate curator in charge of the Accessions and Catalogue Department, she dedicated the majority of her time with the museum to collections management, and was responsible for processing and cataloging the museum’s acquisitions. During her tenure at the Metropolitan, Marica authored the museum’s procedural manuals on accessioning and cataloging and advised curators, administrators, and students on collections management. Since November 2012, she has served as an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to her career with the museum, Marica Vilcek has held consultant and board positions with multiple nonprofit organizations focused on conservancy and curation, education in the fine arts, and humanitarian endeavors. She has served as a consultant to the Commission for Art Recovery, the Jewish Museum in New York City, and the Jordan National Gallery in Amman; she is a member of the board of The Foundation for a Civil Society and the New York Youth Symphony.

Dr. Jan T. Vilcek and Marica Vilcek cofounded the Vilcek Foundation in 2000 with the mission to raise awareness of immigrant contributions in the United States and foster appreciation of the arts and sciences. This mission is inspired by the Vilceks’ respective careers in biomedical science and in art history. The Vilceks also established the foundation to honor their personal experiences and express their appreciation for the opportunities that immigrating to the United States afforded them. Since its establishment in 2000, the Vilcek Foundation has awarded over $5.8 million in prizes to foreign-born individuals and has supported nonprofit organizations in the arts, sciences, and immigrant services with over $5.3 million in grants. 

Read more at the Vilcek Foundation: Marica Vilcek honored by NYU Institute of Fine Arts.

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