Lincoln Center Editions is a component of the Vera List Art Project, which was launched at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1962 by philanthropist and art collector, Vera List. A pioneer in the fields of contemporary patronage and art education, Vera was deeply engaged with the projects she supported. Never one to simply write a check, she proposed innovative programs which would shape cultural institutions like the New School, the Jewish Museum, MIT, and the New Museum (which she helped to found). In particular, her vision and commitment helped to develop Lincoln Center into a true intersection of the arts, both visual and performance.
Vera firmly believed in the power of art to transform its surroundings, which is why she insisted that Lincoln Center have a strong program for the visual arts, and committed substantial funding towards that goal. Vera and her husband Albert facilitated the acquisition of works by artists like Jasper Johns and Henry Moore for Lincoln Center, encouraging like-minded patrons to contribute to what would become the Public Art Collection.
Vera’s ambitions for Lincoln Center stretched beyond one-time donations; she wanted to establish something that could grow along with this new cultural hub. Her vision would be realized in a program that initially commissioned contemporary artists to create posters for Lincoln Center’s milestones. Noticing how popular the posters were becoming, in 1970 Vera decided to include premium limited-edition prints to commemorate Lincoln Center’s greatest events, from film screenings to operas. Signed-and-numbered by artists like Chuck Close, Helen Frankenthaler, Barbara Kruger and Andy Warhol, these stand-alone works of art could be sold to benefit education and performance programs at Lincoln Center, a novel idea at the time. This initiative took the art out of Lincoln Center and into the streets, where it could be appreciated by the general public.
Bearing witness to five decades of American contemporary art, the Vera List Art Project has produced more than 150 limited-edition prints. Vera personally oversaw the project from the very first commission in 1963 up through 1974. In a nod to her visionary legacy, the Vera List Art Project commissions artists to this day, with recent prints from John Baldessari, Angel Otero, Robin Rhode, Carlos Rolón/Dzine and Lorna Simpson. Proceeds from the sale of these prints continue to benefit Lincoln Center's innovative cultural programming.