About the Vilcek Foundation

About the Vilcek Foundation

What We Do

The Vilcek Foundation raises awareness of immigrant contributions in America and fosters appreciation of the arts and sciences.


Who We Are

The foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. Our mission was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities offered to them as newcomers to the United States.


How We Do It

The foundation achieves its mission through several programs. The Vilcek Prizes are awarded annually in the arts and biomedical science to prominent foreign-born scientists and artists who are recognized leaders in their fields. We also award prizes to younger foreign-born biomedical scientists and artists who have demonstrated exceptional promise early in their careers. These prizes were created to call attention to the seminal contributions made by immigrant professionals to the U.S.   

Additionally, the Vilcek Foundation sponsors cultural programs and organizations whose work aligns with our mission, such as the New American Filmmakers program at the Hawaii International Film Festival.

The art collection assembled by Jan and Marica Vilcek—some of it already donated to the Vilcek Foundation and the rest designated a promised gift—includes superb examples of American modernist art, pre-Columbian art, and Native American pottery. The foundation encourages scholarly interest and personal enjoyment of the collection by conducting original research, curating exhibitions, and lending objects to other institutions. 

  • Vilcek Prizes

    The Vilcek Prizes and Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise honor distinguished foreign-born artists and scientists.


    Learn More >

  • Art Collections

    Explore the foundation's art collections online, and check out the American Modernism Artworks on Loan section for opportunities to see the works in person at museums across the country!


    Browse the Collection >

  • Press Information

    Press kits and images for publication are available only for the purpose of media coverage of the Vilcek Foundation. All published images must be accompanied by a credit line and copyright information. Please email info@vilcek.org for information.


    Download Press Kit >