The prize will be awarded to an individual whose work "transcends traditional boundaries and exemplifies the highest level of excellence" in painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, metals, glass or fibers.
"The Wolgin International Prize in the Fine Arts is my opportunity to make a statement to the world about Philadelphia as a great city for the arts," Wolgin said.
An international panel of fine arts leaders will nominate artists eligible to compete for the prize. The complete eligibility and nomination process will be determined by Feb. 1.
Administered through Temple's Tyler School of Art, the first competition will take place in fall 2009, followed by an exhibition in the new building's gallery space.
Temple is in the process of relocating the art school from suburban Elkins Park to its main campus in Philadelphia. The new $75 million Tyler building has larger exhibition halls, bigger studios, better equipment and more modern classrooms for the school's well-regarded programs in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and glass.
"When combined with the effect of the studio programs' move to the city, the competition will enhance both Temple's and Philadelphia's reputations as arts leaders - not just in the nation, but in the world," Temple President Ann Weaver Hart said.
Wolgin commissioned one of Philadelphia's most prominent public artworks, Claes Oldenburg's "Clothespin," in 1976.
He also sponsors the Wolgin Prize for Israeli Cinema, awarded annually at the Jerusalem Film Festival, and the Wolgin Prize for Scientific Excellence, given by Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science.
On the Net:
Wolgin fine arts competition: www.temple.edu/tyler/wolginprize