The Founder

Posted in History

The Fondation Singer-Polignac was created by Winnaretta Singer, princesse Edmond de Polignac, in Paris in 1928, in order to finally give a legal form to her long-time patronage activities in support of arts, literature, and science. After her death in 1943, the foundation received her Parisian mansion as a legacy.

Because she was one of the heiresses of the Singer sewing-machines creator, Winnaretta Singer was a very fortunate woman. She dedicated her wealth to arts and science. She was well-known for the many concerts she used to host in her mansion in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, but also for having financially supported many musical projects and young composers, such as Igor Stravinsky, Francis Poulenc, Erik Satie, Germaine Tailleferre et Darius Milhaud. Furthermore, Winnaretta Singer also helped scientists such as Marie Curie and Edouard Branly.

Between 1926 and 1927, Winnaretta Singer requested advice from Maurice Paléologue about a legal form she could give to her long-time patronage activities. Paléologue suggested to create a scientific foundation in favour of the Collège de France and asked professor Joseph Bédier for help.

After different steps and modifications in Winnaretta Singer’s project, the creation of the public establishment named Fondation Singer-Polignac was voted on March 16th, 1928. Winnaretta Singer gave 3 000 000 francs to the foundation.