Under its program of Supper Conferences, the Foundation invited scholars to present papers on research before an audience of interested colleagues. The first Supper Conferences were held by the Foundation in 1944.
The Foundation was created and endowed in 1941 as The Viking Fund, Inc. by Axel Wenner-Gren. In 1951 the name was changed to the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc.
Many valuable contributions to the anthropological literature have come directly or indirectly from the Wenner-Gren Symposia gatherings.