George Henry Alexander Clowes Ph.D., retired Eli Lilly And Company director of research, his wife Edith Whitehill Clowes, and their two sons, Allen Whitehill Clowes and George H. A. Clowes Jr., MD, incorporated The Clowes Fund in Indianapolis in 1952.

A man is standing between two paintings that are hung on a wall.
Allen W. Clowes at a Clowes Art Collection event, ca. 1963 Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

As of December 2023, the Fund has awarded approximately $138 million in grants since its inception and maintains assets in the range of $50-$100 million. The Fund concentrates its support in Indianapolis and northern New England. Its priorities include social justice and family self-sufficiency and range from education to social services, especially immigrant services and workforce development. 

During their lifetimes, George and Edith Clowes amassed an extensive art collection, primarily of paintings by European masters, which hung in their Indianapolis home, Westerley. After George Clowes’s death, the Clowes Collection became property of The Clowes Fund. In 1971, the Fund placed the collection on indefinite loan at the Clowes Pavilion, a newly built wing of the Indianapolis Museum Of Art (IMA), later known as Newfields. In 1999, the Fund board decided to donate the entire collection to the IMA over a period of years culminating in 2023.

Two men in business suits are each holding a cup and saucer.
Clowes Art Collection event, ca. 1963 Credit: Indiana Historical Society View Source

Although none of the founding quartets is still alive, the Fund is governed by Clowes family representatives and community representatives who provide the board with additional civic and professional knowledge.

The Fund typically employs a professional staff in Indianapolis and in New England. The board and staff of The Clowes Fund are committed to open and informative interaction with grantees, grant seekers, and the communities they serve.

Revised April 2024

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