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Venetian Program History

Well before establishing the Delmas Foundation, Gladys Krieble Delmas was deeply interested in Venetian culture and history. By the 1970’s, she and her husband, Jean Delmas, began to divide their time between Venice and New York City and interacted with many historians, art history specialists, creative writers, artists and musicians in both places. Aware of the great significance of Venice in the Italian Renaissance, Mrs. Delmas came to realize that, in the English-speaking world, more attention is often paid to the contributions of Florence and Rome than to those of Venice. One of the major purposes of her Foundation, established in 1976, was to redress this imbalance by encouraging research and publications in the English-speaking world that would highlight the heritage of Venice and the Veneto.

The vision of Gladys Krieble Delmas has been carried forward by the Foundation in many ways.  Chief among them is the support of scholars intending to conduct their research and study in the Venetian region.  The Venetian Research Program has provided such support since 1977 to 650 scholars through its U.S. program and to 323 scholars through its U.K.-based program.  These awards have amounted to more than $4,500,000 from 1977 through 2014.  The Foundation is guided in its fellowship program by a distinguished panels of experts in Venetian studies.

In addition, the Foundation has made 85 grants to institutions that have undertaken projects in Venetian history and culture. The recipient institutions are located in the U.S., in the U.K, in Venice, and elsewhere. These grants have totaled more than $1,000,000.  Subventions for publications by individual Delmas grantees whose work focused on Venice and the Veneto, broadly speaking, have amounted to $325,000.

A sampling of Venetian-oriented institutional programs in the U.S. and the U.K. indicates the wide range of activity thus supported.  Examples include a conference on “Venice Reconsidered” at Syracuse University (1995), Duke University’s on-going Summer Institute in Venice, and productions of Monteverdi operas at the Brooklyn Academic of Music (2001). The Foundation also supported an exhibition of “The Palazzo Barbaro Circle: Americans in Venice at the end of the 19th- Century” at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (2002), a conference in Venice of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) entitled “Il Libro in Venezia” (2005), the development at Yale University of a web-accessible collection of images of maps and globes made by 16th- and 17-century Venetian cartographers (2007), and a cataloguing and digitizing program at the Royal Institute of British Architects focusing on Venice, the Veneto, and Andrea Palladio in particular (2008).

Finally, for several years the Foundation has been one of many contributors to Save Venice, Inc., an organization with its own active grant-giving program designed “to protect the cultural patrimony” of Venice. Many Venetian institutions have received funds from this organization.

While the scholarly imbalance perceived by its founder has been redressed to a considerable extent, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation continues its commitment to focus attention on the history and culture of Venice and the Veneto.


Note: For specific information on application procedures for current Foundation grants relating to Venice and the Veneto, please see Venetian Programs