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American Art Museum Receives Two Terra Foundation Awards

WASHINGTON, DC.-The Terra Foundation for American Art awarded two grants totally $645,000 to the Smithsonian American Art Museum: $600,000 for five years to support fellowships at the museum and $45,000 for a fall 2006 symposium. This grant is the largest ever received by the museum solely for fellowships.

“The Terra Foundation has long been recognized for its dedication to American art scholarship, and its generous support enhances our outstanding fellowship program,” said Elizabeth Broun, the museum’s Margaret and Terry Stent Director.

“The Terra Foundation is committed to promoting exchange between scholars thereby cultivating a worldwide community for American art,” said Elizabeth Glassman, president and chief executive officer of the Terra Foundation. “With its outstanding collection and resources, in addition to its location in the nation’s capital, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is uniquely situated to facilitate this international dialogue.”

The $600,000 grant will fund up to 20 Terra Foundation for American Art Fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum during the next five years. This grant seeks to foster a cross-cultural dialogue about the history of American art, supporting scholars from the United States and abroad who investigate international contexts for American art. Fellowships will be awarded to predoctoral, postdoctoral and senior scholars for independent and dissertation research.

The $45,000 grant is designated to support an international symposium that will attract scholars with varying approaches and training. The symposium, titled “American Art in a Global Context,” is organized to celebrate the museum’s re-opening next year. Potential themes include the circum-Atlantic migrations; American art in European collections; globalization and the digital world; and the impact of immigration on American identities.

The Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.

Since 1970, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has hosted more than 270 fellows who now occupy positions in academic and cultural institutions across the United States. Other fellowship opportunities available at the museum include the Patricia and Phillip Frost Fellowship for research in American art and visual culture; the Wyeth Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship for the study of the traditions of American art; the Sara Roby Fellowship in Twentieth-Century American Realism; the Douglass Foundation Fellowship in American Art; the James Renwick Fellowship in American Craft; and the Joshua C. Taylor Fellowship which is supported by alumni and friends of the fellowship program. The museum also hosts fellows supported by the Smithsonian’s general fellowship fund.

In addition to the more than 41,000 objects in the museum’s permanent collection, the research resources at the museum include its extensive graphic and photographic collections that document American art and artists and unparalleled art research databases. A 150,000-volume library specializing in American art, history and biography is shared with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. An active publications program of books, catalogs and the critically acclaimed journal American Art complements the museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.

To receive information about fellowships, call (202) 275-1557 or write to to request a brochure. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15, 2006.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829 and has evolved into one of the world’s most important American art holdings, with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. The museum’s main building, a National Historic Landmark located at 8th and F streets N.W., is currently under renovation. The museum will re-open in July 2006.

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