Decade: 1930s

An Overview of Rockefeller Foundation Support for the Performing Arts in the 20th Century

Although known for its work in science, medicine, and health, the Rockefeller Foundation supported a surprising number of performing arts activities.

Building the Hale Telescope

A 20-year-long project, funded by Rockefeller philanthropies, took technologies enabling astronomy to an unprecedented scale.

“For Initiative and for Experiment”: The International Education Board, 1923-1938

Incorporated in 1923 with funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the IEB built a major scientific network in Europe and the US in only five years.

The Women Pioneers of Global Nursing Education Who Built the Rockefeller Foundation Program

A massive program in nursing education extended to 53 schools across the globe. But it never became a top priority of the foundation that supported it.

Rockefeller Foundation Support for Communications Media in the 1930s and 1940s

The mid-20th century was an era influenced by mass communications, and a handful of philanthropic programs sought to tap into the possibilities of film and radio.

“A Roomful of Brains”: Early Advances in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

At midcentury, Rockefeller Foundation staffers hoped new technologies might find solutions to complex problems.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s 20th-Century Global Fight Against Disease

Programs designed to build public health infrastructure, eradicate disease, and increase access to healthcare have formed the core of more than a hundred years of one foundation’s strategy.

“Without Distinction of Race, Sex, or Creed”: The General Education Board, 1903-1964

In the early 20th century, the General Education Board was devoted to the cause of improving education throughout the United States, without distinction of race, sex, or creed.

Eradication or Control? The Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Anti-Malaria Campaigns

A foundation set on eradicating mosquito-born diseases had to accept that disease control was good enough.

Toward a More Robust Study of Mental Health: Rockefeller Foundation Funding for Psychiatry

Two decades of funding helped legitimize the study of psychiatry as a medical issue, not a problem of character.