For centuries, societies far apart in culture and religion have had in common an exquisite art form: the Art of Illumination. Made with pictures, paint and precious metals, these cultures used illumination to create beautiful renderings of their most sacred documents. In archives and museums, a decorated Hebrew marriage contract (or ketubah), an embellished New Testament manuscript, and a dazzling Koran, bespeak the reverence and intensity of feelings expressed through this fine art.

The Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, was formed in June 2004 to revitalize passion for and public awareness of the art of illumination, in part through education and training at the unique Illumination Atelier. Modeled after the Renaissance atelier (studio), the Illumination Atelier is the first of its kind in the United States. Apprentices and interns have the opportunity of working directly on the illuminations and are fully supported by the Foundation during their stay at the Atelier.


The Foundation's Board of Directors are:

Ellen Frank, Ph.D.
Founding Director

Stephen Dickman



Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (C) (3) public benefit organization whose purpose is to enable the revitalization of the art of illumination and creation of new works of art in this genre.    

Through its unique Illumination Atelier, EFIAF brings together an international cadre of interns, artists, curators, media experts, universities, municipalities and cultural organizations to work on its projects. This positive intercultural dialogue, bridging gaps in religion, ethnicity and aesthetic ideas, testifies to the transformative power of the collaborative artistic enterprise to bring forth social change.

The work of Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation insists upon the centrality of aesthetic activity in human experience and its transformative impact on humanity. In all cultures art has realized universal yearnings for beauty, awe and creative expression. The mystery of how this impulse is sustained against the odds imposed by humanity’s destructive impulse is insoluble, but clearly art is the mainstay of civilized tendencies.

The Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation revives and gives life to an artistic form that might otherwise be lost or fall into disuse. In so doing, it renews and celebrates a tradition of vibrant aesthetic and inspirational power.


For those interested in supporting our work or learning more
about our activities, please contact:

73 Squaw Road
East Hampton, NY 11937

Tel. 631-329-0530

Promoting Peace and Understanding Through Art
Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation, Inc.