IDSVA is internationally recognized as one of the world's top PhD programs in the visual arts. Your contribution will help an IDSVA PhD candidate advance the knowledge of art and philosophy toward altogether new horizons.

Art philosophy students in Berlin

Make a Donation to the IDSVA Scholarship Fund

Two Ph.D. students read about Art Theory

Why it Matters

IDSVA matters because we are empowering the mind to pursue the highest achievements of the human imagination.  In doing so, we provide an international community of artists with the tools to understand and articulate the promise of humanity. To that end:

  • IDSVA's internationally acclaimed visiting faculty includes leading artists, philosophers, and scholars from around the world.
  • The program’s pioneering curriculum combines rigorous philosophical study with on-site intensives worldwide.
  • This fusion of distance learning with intensive residencies allows working art professionals to pursue rigorous advanced scholarship without having to interrupt or abandon their teaching careers, art practice, or other professional responsibilities.

Major Donations

Ted Coons and George Smith during commencement

The Edgar E. Coons Jr. Professorship of New Philosophy

Leading American educator and psychologist Edgar (Ted) Coons has been a member of the Psychology and Neuroscience faculty at NYU for over forty years.

In 2015, Professor Coons established the annually awarded IDSVA Ted Coons Dissertation Prize, and in 2016 he joined IDSVA’s Board of Trustees.

In 2019, Dr. Coons made a one million dollar gift to IDSVA and thereby established THE EDGAR E. COONS JR. PROFESSORSHIP OF NEW PHILOSOPHY. Dr. George Smith, IDSVA’s founder and president, has been named the first holder of The Edgar E. Coons Jr. Professorship of New Philosophy.

Two IDSVA Students

The Margot and Robert Kelley Venice Biennale Residency

We are proud to announce that Margot and Robert Kelley have been recognized as IDSVA Residency Patrons*.

Dr. Margot Kelley served on our Board of Trustees and has served in a variety of key roles over the course of IDSVA's institutional development, including Interim Director of the School.

Dr. Robert Kelley designed and implemented our new and highly innovative digital education platform.

In addition to their generous and freely given contributions of time and talent, major financial gifts from Margot and Rob Kelley go far to explain IDSVA's standing as a global leader in graduate education.

IDSVA honored Margot and Rob at a naming ceremony and dinner reception in June at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Henceforward the Venice residency will be called:  THE MARGOT AND ROBERT KELLEY VENICE BIENNALE RESIDENCY

Arts Ph.D. students at the Lourve

The Ben and Sheila Devine Paris Residency

Ben and Sheila Devine are longtime Maine residents and active participants in IDSVA’s ongoing development. Ben Devine has served on IDSVA’s Board of Trustees since 2015. Their $90,000 gift supports IDSVA’s biannual Paris Residency.

A key component in IDSVA’s Topological Studies Program, the Paris residency puts IDSVA students in direct engagement with some of the most important moments in the history of art and ideas. In addition to studying at the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Pompidou Center, the Picasso Museum, and the Rodin Museum, Paris residency students participate in lectures and seminars delivered by France’s foremost philosophers on art, including Jean-Luc Nancy, Étienne Balibar, and Sylvère Lotringer.

*IDSVA Residency Patrons contribute $90,000 or more in support of IDSVA's educational programming.

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