I am convinced that material things can contribute a lot to making one's life pleasant, but, basically, if you do not have very good friends and relatives who matter to you, life will be really empty and sad and material things cease to be important.
My own interest in art was because of my mother. My father didn't like contemporary art, so he didn't give her large sums to spend. So, she began buying prints and drawings. During my school days, I remember sitting in on many of the early meetings.
Father was the eldest son and the heir apparent, and he set the standard for being a Rockefeller very high, so every achievement was taken for granted and perfection was the norm.
Philanthropy is involved with basic innovations that transform society, not simply maintaining the status quo or filling basic social needs that were formerly the province of the public sector.
I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education. In order to appreciate cultures of another nation, one needs to go there, know the people and mingle with the culture of that country. One way to do that, if one is lucky enough, is to buy things from those cultures.
You know, gentlemen, that I do not owe any personal income tax. But nevertheless, I send a small check, now and then, to the Internal Revenue Service out of the kindness of my heart.
I learned more from my mother than from all the art historians and curators who have informed me about technical aspects of art history and art appreciation over the years.
By a museum, I assume you mean an institution dedicated to the events of Sept. 11 and the aftermath. If that is done with sensitivity, I think it would be most appropriate.
Money can add very much to one's ability to lead a constructive life, not only pleasant for oneself, but, hopefully, beneficial to others. My grandfather, along with Carnegie, was a pioneer in philanthropy, which my father then practiced on a very large scale. The Christian ethic played an essential part in my upbringing.
The attacks on the World Trade Center and the current economic recession, which is particularly powerful in New York City, have put a number of building plans on hold for the time being.
When you have a lot of resources, the most important thing is to have had good parents and to have been brought up by people who gave one the proper values.
For more than 40 years, I have advocated the creation of a 'round the clock' community. This would mean, at the least, housing, schools and shops of various kinds alongside the commercial buildings. That kind of community had appeared in lower Manhattan in nascent form before Sept. 11, 2001.
The Japanese have a wonderful sense of design and a refinement in their art. They try to produce beautiful paintings with the minimum number of strokes.
I suspect that many corporations have begun to understand that they have an important role to play in the lives of their communities, and that allocating funds to support local groups helps them discharge that function and also burnish their image.
Mother liked beauty wherever she found it, and she found it in many different places, both in nature and in contemporary art. And that's where they pretty much parted company. Father... anything that was abstract would to him automatically be not very good.
Harvard has played an important role in my life. I was a student, Class of 1936, and I've been on the board of overseers. My experiences there shaped who I am.
It is true that I am often startled and even angered and repulsed by the strange directions and provocative content of new forms that seem to pop up every few months.
They decided to establish a museum of modern art where works by contemporary artists would be shown. Mother was viewed as a very progressive person, and not everybody liked the paintings she bought.
I was brought up feeling that art is a very important part of one's life. It's something that I not only enjoy, it's something I can share with others.