History of the Foundation

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Reflections on Fifty Years of Anthropology & the Role of the Wenner-Gren Foundation

To mark the golden anniversary, the Wenner-Gren Foundation's 50th Anniversary annual report included a special section of essays.

The annual report published at the tenth-year anniversary carried an appraisal of the Viking Fund's achievements by Alfred L. Kroeber.  In 1961, the Foundation's twentieth anniversary, the report included three statements on "The Wenner-Gren Foundation and Anthropology" from eminent anthropologists in the major areas of specialization: Raymond Firth writing on ethnology, Emil W. Haury on archaeology, and Adolph H. Schultz on physical anthropology.  On the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 1991, the Foundation asked six distiguished scholars -- two from each area, as was appropriate given the growth and diversification of the field since 1961-- to reflect upon the previous fifty years and Wenner-Gren's role in the major subdisciplines of anthropology.  Each was invited to approach the task in any way he or she chose.  The essays that follow offer not only a historical overview but also thoughts on the current state and future prospects of the discipline.