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BCRF and The Estée Lauder Companies’ Artifacts Accepted into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

By BCRF | March 22, 2019

Historical breast cancer objects now on display in the “Giving in America” exhibit

BCRF proudly joined The Estée Lauder Companies’ (ELC) Breast Cancer Campaign to donate several artifacts representing breast cancer awareness and philanthropy to the Smithsonian’s permanent collection at the National Museum of American History (NMAH).

“We hope these artifacts will long serve as a testament to visionaries like our founder Evelyn H. Lauder who worked tirelessly to end breast cancer,” said Myra Biblowit, President and CEO of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at the ceremony.

The additions to the museum’s collection are particularly meaningful this Women’s History Month as Evelyn H. Lauder’s indelible mark on the trajectory of breast cancer research to save lives and improve women’s health around the world, officially joins American history. Items will also be included in the NMAH long-term exhibit, “Giving in America.”

Myra Biblowit and Bari Seiden-Young, ELC Vice President of Global Corporate Communications, Citizenship & Sustainability, joined David J. Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Anthea Hartig, NMAH Director, and Abbe Raven, BCRF Board member and NMAH Board Chair, for a poignant ceremony signing the artifacts over to the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

“Health and medicine have long been central to philanthropy and its expansive reach,” said Amanda B. Moniz, the museum’s David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy.

“Diseases cross borders and so do the means to tackle them, and, as a result, medical philanthropy has connected Americans to a global effort. Many Americans are inspired to give to medical causes because they hope to find a cure for a loved one or honor someone who has passed. Whatever the reason, these gifts contribute to medical ecosystems around the world.”

The philanthropy initiative also hosted its annual symposium, “Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life.” BCRF Honorary Chairman and ELC Chairman Emeritus Leonard A. Lauder joined Co-Scientific Director Dr. Larry Norton and BCRF Ambassador Amy Robach to discuss “25 Years of Breakthroughs” and the progress made possible by philanthropy on breast cancer research over the last 25 years.

Currently on display in the “Giving in America” exhibit

A 2018 U.S. Mint Breast Cancer Awareness commemorative coin and Estée Lauder Companies’ “Count Me In” petition with a pink ribbon and the 2012 entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the Estée Lauder Companies’ Global Landmark Illuminations Initiative, lighting landmarks around the world pink to raise breast cancer awareness, joined other objects that highlight the myriad ways Americans contribute to humanitarian aid and medical research in the NMAH “Giving in America” exhibit. “Giving in America” is a long-term exhibit that looks at philanthropy’s role in shaping the United States.

Donated to the Smithsonian’s Permanent Collection

An Estée Lauder Companies’ “Count Me In” petition with a pink ribbon from that first year will be added to the national collections along with a Breast Cancer Awareness donation card with enamel pink ribbon from October 1993; a Breast Cancer Research Foundation press kit, also from 1993; and, an Estée Lauder pink ribbon makeup compact from 1997. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation donated three proof coins from the commemorative coin program: a $5 pink gold coin, a $1 silver coin and the half-dollar coin made of copper-nickel. Authorized by law, the coin prices include surcharges on each coin that raised more than $1.1 million to benefit BCRF, furthering breast cancer research.

For more on the Philanthropy Initiative, visit and the Giving and Health Webpage at