Decade: 1930s

Rockefeller Philanthropy and Population-Related Fields

As the scarcity of global resources became increasingly worrisome in the 20th century, these organizations more boldly approached work in population and family planning.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Role in Creating the Atomic Bomb

In the aftermath, Foundation staff struggled to rectify their organization’s involvement with this weapon of mass destruction.

World War II & the Rockefeller Foundation

Saving threatened scholars and confronting a dramatically changed world.

War of the Worlds: Rockefeller Philanthropies, Disinformation, and Media Literacy in the 1930s

Orson Welles’s 1938 radio performance of The War of the Worlds prompted a foundation to explore issues of media literacy and fake news.

Preserving Scholarship During World War II: the Rockefeller Foundation, Libraries, and Microphotography

Using new technology to save threatened world resources and keep free inquiry alive under threat of fascist destruction.

Black Education and Rockefeller Philanthropy from the Jim Crow South to the Civil Rights Era

Applying a vast fortune to the American race problem, but with decades of false assumptions and well-intended approaches that fell short.

Philanthropy and Oceanography: An Episode in Field-Building

Funding on levels large and small helped this new area of scientific research grow and evolve.

Photo Essay: A Mother, a Son, and Modern Art

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s passion for modern art influenced her children, especially her son Nelson Rockefeller, and continues to reach the public through the museum she co-founded.

Photo Essay: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Design of The Met Cloisters

How an American philanthropist’s love of medieval art created an immersive Old World experience at The Cloisters museum in New York City.

The Met Cloisters: An Unlikely Pair Makes a Home for Medieval Art in New York City

Does philanthropy always require a perfect partnership to create something great? Peering behind the facade of The Met Cloisters museum reveals that the answer is sometimes “no.”