Recognizing the importance of experiencing original works of art firsthand, the Terra Foundation supports exhibitions that increase the understanding and appreciation of historical American art (circa 1500–1980). The foundation has a particular interest in exhibitions that add an international dimension to the study or presentation of historical American art or take place in Chicago, where we’re headquartered. “International dimensions” vary by project, but may include:
Visual arts that are eligible for Terra Foundation Exhibition Grants include painting; sculpture; works on paper (prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs); decorative arts (typically handmade functional objects of high aesthetic quality); design (objects of high aesthetic quality; excludes industrial design); video art; and conceptual art. Excluded are architecture, performance art, and commercial film/animation.
Exhibition Grant proposals will be reviewed by an external panel of scholars and curators who are specialists in historical American art.
The foundation only accepts proposals from institutions with United States 501(c)(3) status or the international equivalent. Exhibition Grants are not made to individuals.
There are three types of institutions eligible for funding:
1. Exhibitions on any aspect of historical American art that travel internationally.
2. Exhibitions on any aspect of historical American art that are co-organized with an international venue.
3. Exhibitions that make a significant contribution to scholarship on historical American art in an international context.
The Terra Foundation requires that exhibitions include the following:
Grant funding is also available for exhibitions that include objects from the Terra Foundation collection (see Terra Collection Initiatives).
The Terra Foundation does not accept proposals for:
As the foundation prefers to fund full tours, we will only accept one proposal per exhibition. The proposal must come from the organizing institution(s), unless there is a Chicago venue, in which case see “Chicago” in the eligibility guidelines above.
Please note that the award of a research & development grant does not guarantee eligibility in the exhibition grant program area.
If you have questions about our Exhibition Grants, please visit the Grant FAQs page or contact Grants Manager Amy Gunderson (email@example.com) or Program Director of Exhibition & Academic Grants Carrie Haslett (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Letter of Inquiry: March 1, 2018
Proposal: May 15, 2018
*Please note that Fall 2018 will be the last time awards will be made for exhibitions without at least one venue in either Chicago or outside the US.
If the foundation responds to a letter of inquiry by requesting a proposal, the organization applying for a grant will be expected to complete an application. Visit the Terra Foundation Site for instructions on how to apply.
To document the Terra Foundation’s support, we ask that grants be acknowledged in exhibition publications. Applications should therefore be submitted in time to allow for such acknowledgement to be included (typically, this means submitting a formal letter of inquiry one year to 18 months before the opening of an exhibition’s first venue).