Dasha Zhukova Donates 1 million dollars to MIT to Establish a Visiting Artist Program

October 31, 2015

It’s not every day that an artist residency program gets as much as $1 million in donation! But it did happened to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (much better known as the MIT), as their Center for Art, Science and Technology will get a brand new visiting endeavour thanks to the generous art collector and philanthropist Dasha Zhukova. Entitled Distinguished Visiting Artist Position, it will become an addition to the already existing activities of CAST starting in the fall of academic year 2016-17, extending through June 2018.

A video of Olafur Eliasson at MIT, with his Little Sun project

A $1 Million Gift to the MIT CAST Artist Residency Program

Open to artists, architects and designers, The Distinguished Visiting Artist Position will help select a talented individual, who will receive a one to two year appointment at the MIT. In a creative environment such as this one, they will be able to make use of the creative energy, innovative thinking and advanced technology to research and develop new creative project in collaboration with the Institute’s faculty, researchers and students. At MIT’s CAST, they insist that Dasha Zhukova’s incredible donation will help their program create “unparalleled opportunities” and “inspire new artistic work”. Since 2012, CAST has hosted over thirty visiting artists residencies, and to date, their guests include names like Vik Muniz, Mel Chin, David Adjaye, Trevor Paglen, Tomas Saraceno and Olafur Eliasson.

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology - The MIT

Dasha Zhukova - A Friend of the Arts

To some, she is known as the wife of Roman Abramovich, but to others, she is a famous businesswoman, magazine editor and a passionate art collector. Dasha Zhukova’s relationship with the world of art is longstanding, and the Russian-born philanthropist never hesitated to support it. In 2011, she became editor-in-chief of the art and fashion magazine Garage, which was followed by the foundation of the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow (currently on view is an exhibition of works by Louise Bourgeois; GarageCCC also offers educational and programs for kids). She is also on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In 2014, Dasha Zhukova came under fire because of a photograph in which she sits on a sculpture of an African American woman in shape of a chair, which general public condemned as racist. She later apologized, stating that her intentions were widely misinterpreted.

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All images used for illustrative purposes only.