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Wenner-Gren Celebrates 70th Anniversary

February 16, 2011

Axel Wenner-Gren and Paul Fejos in Vilcabamba, Peru in 1941
Axel Wenner-Gren and Paul Fejos in the field in Vilcabamba, Peru 1941

February marks the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s 70th anniversary. The Foundation (then known as The Viking Fund) was incorporated in 1941 at the behest of Axel Wenner-Gren with a donation of $2 million dollars. Today the Foundation provides over $5 million dollars each year in support of Anthropology worldwide.

To commemorate its anniversary, the Foundation has added a new History section to its website featuring a number of resources for visitors interested in the Foundation and its role in discipline history. Chief among these are recordings from the renowned Wenner-Gren Supper Conference series, which visitors can stream and listen to announcements of discoveries and critical analysis from such eminent figures as Ruth Benedict, Louis B. Leakey, Raymond Firth, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, as they presented their ground-breaking research to their academic peers and colleagues.

Along with a brief “Story and People of Wenner-Gren,” the new History section also provides comprehensive listings of Foundation symposia and publications; a gallery of its renowned Viking Fund Medalists;  and a Photo Archive highlighting the many people, locations, and events that helped make the Wenner-Gren Foundation the pre-eminent source of private funding dedicated to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world.