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Blanchette Ferry Hooker

Blanchette Ferry Rockefeller

Blanchette Ferry Hooker Rockefeller (October 2, 1909November 29, 1992) was born Blanchette Ferry Hooker in New York City. She was the daughter of Elon Huntington Hooker, founder of Hooker Electrochemical Company, and his wife, Blanche Ferry.

Rockefeller graduated from Vassar College in 1931, with a B.A. in music. On November 11, 1932, she married John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the scion of the prominent Rockefeller family, at Riverside Church in New York City. They had four children: Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (born June 18, 1937), Sandra Rockefeller, Hope Rockefeller, and Alida Rockefeller.

Rockefeller devoted her time to community service, education, and the arts - in particular the collection of Asian and American art. "She had been active in the affairs of The Museum of Modern Art since 1949 and was elected a member of the Board of Trustees in December 1952. In 1958, at a time when many Americans derided modern art or thought it communist and subversive, Rockefeller lent her support to the International Program that helped send The New American Painting, the first major exhibition of Abstract Expressionism, to eight European cities." [Taken in whole or part from http://archive.rockefeller.edu/publications/resrep/rr1997.pdf]

In 1948, Blanchette Rockefeller commissioned a guest house by the architect Philip Johnson. Located at 242 East 52nd Street next to the Turtle Bay Music School, it was one of the first residential buildings in New York City to reflect the influence of the Modern movement. The 1950 guest house was a place in which she could display her modern art collection and entertain friends. The Rockefellers donated the house (historically landmarked in 2000) to the Museum of Modern Art in 1955.

"Blanchette Rockefeller provided enlightened leadership to MoMA as President of the museum from 1972 through 1985. Two of her most important gifts were Willem de Kooning’s Woman II (1952) and Clyfford Still’s Painting (1951), an Abstract-Expressionist landscape. The Abstract Expressionist galleries on the second floor are named in her honor. In 1979 Rockefeller accepted an Oscar on behalf of MoMA’s work in film." [Taken in whole or part from http://archive.rockefeller.edu/publications/resrep/rr1997.pdf]

The Rockefellers maintained homes in New York City and at "Fieldwood Farm" in the expansive Rockefeller family estate of Pocantico (see Kykuit), in Westchester County, New York.

Blanchette Rockefeller died in New York City from pneumonia, a complication of Alzheimer's Disease. The Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia is named in her honor.

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