CAMPAIGN MISSION STATEMENT
O S S O R I O F O U N D A T I O N
When artist Alfonso Ossorio died at the age of 74 on December 5th, 1990, he left behind a remarkable legacy of art, diaries, photographs, letters and other historic materials documenting a lifetime of artistic and cultural activity. Ossorio is well known for his assemblages of objects made between 1958 and 1984, which he called "Congregations," as well as his works on paper and paintings from the 1930s through 1990.
Alfonso Ossorio is regarded as an important colleague of Jean Dubuffet and Jackson Pollock. He was an early collector of their work, as well as the work of Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner and Clyfford Still, among others. Ossorio acquired The Creeks, a 60 acre estate designed by Grosvenor Atterbury on Georgica Pond in East Hampton, NY from the Herter family in 1952. In the upper rooms of the Italianate mansion, Ossorio maintained and exhibited Dubuffet's collecion of outsider art, called L'Art Brut, from 1952 to 1962. Later Ossorio created and developed a widely admired sculpture park and conifer arboretum which was called "the eighth wonder of the horticultural world" by the American Conifer Society. See Chronology
Edward F. Dragon, life partner and heir to Ossorio's Estate, established the Ossorio Foundation after Ossorio's death. Dragon first established the Foundation as a splendid gallery space where scholars, collectors and other visitors could come to experience and study the depth of Ossorio's lifetime of work. Also, the Foundation worked to maintain Ossorio's historic records and extensive photographic documentation of The Creeks. In 2002, Dragon refocused the strategies of educating the public on the life and work of Alfonso Ossorio by striving to place the works housed in the Foundation space in more public and private collections. Ossorio and Dragon's papers were then donated to Harvard in an effort to provide greater access to the public for scholarly study.
Following Dragon's death in 2011, the Board of Trustees reaffirmed his mission and strategies.