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Guggenheim Foundation Receives $1 Million Chairman's Special Award From NEH

NEW YORK.- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation announced today that it has been selected for a $1 million Chairman’s Special Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for its upcoming exhibition, The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia , 1860–1989. The Guggenheim is the only museum to receive the Chairman’s Special Award for an ’s Historical and Cultural Organizations implementation grant for this grant cycle. This award represents the highest level of funding for a single project nationwide.

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia , 1860–1989 will illuminate the dynamic and complex impact of Asian art, literary texts, music, and philosophical concepts on American art from the late 19th century to the contemporary period. Organized into seven chronological and thematic sections, this unprecedented survey exhibition will challenge the widely accepted view of the development of American modern art as a dialogue with European sources by alternatively focusing upon artists’ prolonged engagement with Asian art forms and ideas.

"The Guggenheim has a history of bringing to American audiences world-renowned works of art that broaden the nation’s understanding of the world and our place in it," said Bruce Cole, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. "Its new exhibition on the influence of Asian art and thought on American artists is exceptional for its scope, scholarly content, and the dynamic appeal it will have for audiences in each city it visits. The Endowment is proud to support the Guggenheim and provide this project with a Chairman’s Special Award designation."

“We are honored to be recognized by the NEH with this unique distinction,” said Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , and curator of the exhibition. “Through this project, we intend to present a new understanding and appreciation of the historical, cultural, and intellectual forces that shaped the modern imagination and creative culture of American artists.”

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989 will feature approximately 270 works across a broad range of media and disciplines, and will represent over 100 artists, including: John La Farge, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Arthur Wesley Dow, Georgia O’Keeffe, Augustus Vincent Tack, Ezra Pound, Isamu Noguchi, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves, David Smith, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, Jordon Belson, Ad Reinhardt, Anne Truitt, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Walter de Maria, Adrian Piper, Bill Viola, and Tehching Hsieh. Select masterpiece objects on loan from European and Japanese museums will complement loans from over 110 American museums and private collections. The exhibition will be on view at the Guggenheim Museum from January 30 through April 19, 2009, followed by national touring.

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia , 1860–1989 will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue of nearly 500 pages with scholarly essays by museum curators and academics specializing in American art history, intellectual history, Asian studies, and postcolonial religious and cultural studies. The exhibition will also include panel discussions and lectures, a film and video series, a literary and performing arts series, a school tour and workshop program, after-school and technology based programs, professional development workshops for educators, curriculum guides, family events and tours, and integrated digital components such as an interactive website, podcasts, and an audio tour.

An NEH Chairman’s Special Award, a new category for implementation grants, is given to large-scale exhibitions of national visibility that demonstrate exceptional potential for attracting large numbers of national visitors and unusual promise in disseminating important humanities ideas to the public in a broadly appealing way. The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia , 1860–1989 received this designation for meeting these qualifications. The project also received We the People recognition for the outstanding contributions it promises to make towards the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. The exhibition previously benefited from a 2007 NEH We the People planning grant through the 's Historical and Cultural Organizations grant program, which supports traveling and long-term museum exhibitions that creatively engage audiences in exploring important ideas. This support enabled the Museum’s team to assemble and convene an Advisory Committee of scholars in the arts and humanities whose expertise has greatly enriched and refined the exhibition. These NEH grants are augmented by significant funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.

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