Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
The Asia Society
The Asia Society was established in 1956 to increase American understanding of Asia and improve Asian-American cultural relations. Patterned on the existing Japan Society, its geographic focus included all of Asia, from Japan to Afghanistan, with a concentration in its early years on South and Southeast Asia. The Fund’s long-term support for the Society began in 1956, its inaugural year. The Society’s activities included welcoming Asian leaders during visits to the United States, assisting Asian students and members of missions staying in the U.S., promoting the development of Asian studies programs in schools and universities, fostering cultural exchange programs, and stimulating public lectures, conferences, and publications on Asia. Its New York City headquarters, Asia House, is located at 725 Park Avenue in a building purchased with a gift from John D. Rockefeller 3rd, who was the Society’s first president.