Joan K. Davidson
2013 Harold K. Hochschild Award Recipient Announced
The Board of Trustees of the Adirondack Museum is pleased to announce the selection of Joan K. Davidson as the recipient of the 2013 Harold K. Hochschild Award. The Adirondack Museum will formally present Ms. Davidson the award at its annual Gala Benefit on Saturday, July 27, 2013.
The Harold K. Hochschild Award is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and environment inspired the creation of the Adirondack Museum. Since 1990, the museum has presented the award to a wide range of intellectual and community leaders highlighting their contributions to the Adirondack region’s culture and quality of life.
“On behalf of the Adirondack Museum, I would like to congratulate Joan Davidson on receiving this prestigious honor for her commitment and service to the Adirondack region,” said David M. Kahn, Executive Director of the Adirondack Museum.
Joan Davidson is a New York-based philanthropist and public servant who, together with her family, has long been a force for good in the Adirondacks. Davidson’s family has been involved with Camp Treetops and North Country School from their inception. Davidson helped lead the capital campaign which enabled Protect the Adirondacks to renovate the Paul Schaefer home and library, now run by Union College. Through Furthermore grants in publishing, a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, Davidson has supported the Adirondack Explorer, a nonprofit magazine “devoted to exploring, protecting, and celebrating the Adirondack Park,” a number of important books about the Adirondacks, as well as publications of numerous local organizations including the Adirondack Museum.
Davidson served as the chair of the New York State Council of the Arts from 1974 to 1977. She was appointed by Governor Hugh Carey. The agency provided then, as it does now, support for arts organizations throughout the Adirondacks. In 1977 she succeeded her father, Jacob M. Kaplan, as President of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. In the years of Davidson’s leadership the Fund was known for its support of both established and fledgling projects, mostly concerning civil liberties and human rights, the arts, and the enhancement of the built and natural environments. Her main focus, and that of the Fund, was on New York City and State. Davidson continued to serve as the Fund’s President until 1993, when she was appointed Commissioner of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation by Governor Mario Cuomo. Davidson rejoined the Kaplan Fund in 1995 as trustee and President Emerita. In addition to providing grants for nonfiction books, the Fund has long supported the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, AARCH, and other Adirondack organizations. Recently Davidson chaired New York’s Quadricentennial Commission. During her long and distinguished career, she also ran for Congress.
The Adirondack Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region in 22 exhibits on a 32-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For additional information, visit www.adkmuseum.org or call (518) 352-7311.