About the work

In the past decade the source of funding, and the inherent power structures that stem from the founding sources, has been at the center of the art discourse, prompting BarabasiLab to bring the power of big data to this question. The Lab processed the tax forms of all nonprofit foundations in the past decade, to understand how foundations use their resources. Using 3,660,949 tax filings from foundations from 2010-2019, BarabasiLab mapped 8,186,055 grants to non-profit institutions, spending about $800 billion in this period. Philanthropy explores the totality of the philanthropic landscape, the twelve panels corresponding  to the twelve categories through which the tax code defines the areas of donations. The large purple panel (Image 12) unveils that universities are the largest recipient of foundation support, collecting $197 billion.  Art & Culture (Image 18), which contains all art categories, from performing to visual arts, received $37B, and Art Museums received just $3.7B over ten years. Hence the relative size of the green panel captures the relatively modest  societal investment in art, compared to other categories of need. Each wood panel is accompanied with an online interface, that identifies the subcategories of each sub box, and the amount of funding associated with them.


Credit: A.-L. Barabási, L. Shekhtman, M. Gresa, A. Szűcs, D. Kármán,

L Radvánszki, V. Csonka, B. Pál,  A. Dickova, A. Boruzs, K. Lázár, L. Pataki.

Interactive Versions 

Philanthropy No I, Higher Education

Philanthropy No II, Human Services

Philanthropy No III, (All Other) Health

Philanthropy No. IV, Public Benefit 

Philanthropy No V, Hospitals

Philanthropy No VI, (All Other) Education

Philanthropy No VII, Arts&Culture

Philanthropy No VIII, International

Philanthropy No IX, Religion

Philanthropy No X, Nature

Philanthropy No XI, Member Benefit

Philanthropy No XII, Other

Image 21 – Philanthropy No X, Nature, 2022 acrylic on board 21-1/8 x 26 x 1-5/8 in 53.7 x 66.2 x 4.2 cm  
Image 22 – Philanthropy No XI, Member Benefit, 2022 acrylic on board 15-3/4 x 1-1/2 x 1-5/8 in 40 x 3.8 x 4.2 cm  
Image 23 – Philanthropy No XII, Other, 2022 acrylic on board 4-1/2 x 1-1/2 x 1-5/8 in 11.4 x 3.8 x 4.2 cm  
Image 11 – Philanthropies shown at the Postmasters Gallery exhibit.  Photo Credit: Emma Schwartz
Image 12 – Philanthropy No I, Higher Education, 2022 acrylic on board 78-3/4 x 71-1/4 x 1-5/8 in 200 x 181 x 4.2 cm
Image 13 – Philanthropy No II, Human Services, 2022 acrylic on board 78-1/2 x 43-7/8 x 1-5/8 in 199.5 x 111.3 x 4.2 cm
Image 10 – Philanthropies No. I through No. X shown at Postmasters Gallery.  Photo Credit: Emma Schwartz
Image 14 – Philanthropy No III, (All Other) Health, 2022 acrylic on board 54 x 47-1/2 x 1-5/8 in 137 x 120.7 x 4.2 cm
Image 15 – Philanthropy No IV, Public benefit, 2022 acrylic on board 53 x 47-1/2 x 1-5/8 in 134.5 x 120.7 x 4.2 cm
Image 16 – Philanthropy No V, Hospitals, 2022 acrylic on board 53-3/4 x 40-1/2 x 1-5/8 in 136.4 x 103 x 4.2 cm
Image 17 – Philanthropy No VI, (All Other) Education, 2022 acrylic on board 54-3/8 x 26-1/8 x 1-5/8 in 138.2 x 66.4 x 4.2 cm  
Image 19 – Philanthropy No VIII, International, 2022 acrylic on board 24 x 38-1/4 x 1-5/8 in 61 x 97 x 4.2 cm  
Image 20 – Philanthropy No IX, Religion, 2022 acrylic on board 28-1/2 x 26-1/8 x 1-5/8 in 72.5 x 66.5 x 4.2 cm  
Image 18 – Philanthropy No VII, Arts&Culture, 2022 acrylic on board 38-1/4 x 27-3/8 x 1-5/8 in 97 x 69.4 x 4.2 cm