The Robert Giard Foundation was formed immediately after Robert Giard’s death in 2002, with the goal of preserving his photographic legacy so that the full breadth of his work across genres – the portrait, nude, still life, and landscape – would be accessible to a growing audience.
The Robert Giard Foundation promotes the use of Giard’s work for educational purposes, and supports continued scholarship about LGBTQ+ literature in America, as well as LGBTQ+ movements and activism more generally. Giard’s photographs bear witness to LGBTQ+ lives, friendships, and histories, reflecting changing understandings of what it means to be gay, lesbian, queer, and more. By supporting public programming and exhibitions of Giard’s work, the Foundation shares LGBTQ+ literature, art, and culture with the wider public, continuing Giard’s project of sharing our communities’ particular voices.
The Giard archive at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, preserves Giard’s work for use by scholars and the public. It contains more than 1,500 unique vintage prints, 7,800 related work prints, and extensive correspondence, records, diaries and other papers, many of which are available online.
In 2008, the Foundation launched a yearly fellowship of $7500 for emerging LGBTQ+ photographers and video artists in cooperation with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Past awards have supported multimedia and film projects as well as photography-based projects, from the USA to Colombia and the Philippines.
In 2019, the Foundation, in partnership with Queer|Art, relaunched this award as The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging LGBTQ+ Photographers, to support future generations of self-taught, early career, activist, or otherwise emerging photographers illuminating aspects of gender and sexuality in their work. This grant supports one emerging LGBTQ+ photographer working anywhere in the world with a yearly grant of $10,000 (and a grant to the runner up of $5000). Through The Robert Giard Grant for Emerging Photographers, the Foundation hopes to extend Giard’s legacy by encouraging current and future generations to document, depict, and interrogate past and present LGBTQ+ cultures.