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Terra Foundation Kicks Off 35th Year with $550K for American Art Exhibitions in London

January 22, 2013

Chicago, IL—The Terra Foundation for American Art continues its long-standing involvement in the United Kingdom by dedicating $550,000 to four major exhibitions running concurrently in London in early 2013. Since 2006 the foundation has committed approximately $3.3M to American art exhibitions, academic programs, and professorships throughout the UK.

“These exhibitions represent a welcome convergence of interest in the visual arts of the United States in London and the ongoing partnerships we’ve forged with some of the United Kingdom’s most respected institutions to present American art to international audiences,” explained Elizabeth Glassman, President and CEO of the Terra Foundation.

In early 2011, for example, the foundation partnered with the National Gallery on An American Experiment: George Bellows and the Ashcan Painters, which featured paintings by the artist and his contemporaries never before exhibited in the United Kingdom and drew close to 100,000 visitors in twelve weeks.

According to a report prepared by the National Gallery, “The most unforeseen outcome of the exhibition was the universal acceptance, almost without a murmur, of the American painting tradition as having a rightful home in Trafalgar Square. This is no small matter. The National Gallery owns only two American paintings.”
The four Terra Foundation-supported exhibitions in London in early 2013 are:

  • Through American Eyes: Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch (The National Gallery, February 6–April 28), which explores the artist’s fresh and spontaneous oil sketches, the second in a series of three focused exhibitions.
  • Lichtenstein: A Retrospective (Tate Modern, February 21–May 27), which brings together the largest group of the artist’s works ever assembled—more than 160 drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Additionally, a Terra Foundation pre-exhibition convening grant brought together scholars from the US and Europe to plan the show, and a research travel grant enabled Tate Modern curator Dr. Iria Candela to conduct research at the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in New York.
  • George Catlin: American Indian Portraits (National Portrait Gallery, March 7–June 23), the first major exhibition of Caitlin’s portraits to be held in Europe since the 1840s.
  • George Bellows: Modern American Life (Royal Academy of Arts, March 16–June 9), which presents the first comprehensive exhibition of Bellows’s work in the UK.

Dr. Nicholas Penny, director of the National Gallery, commented, “Collaboration with the Terra Foundation for American Art has enabled the National Gallery to introduce great American painters—notably George Bellows and the Ashcan School, and now also Fredric Church—to a British public.  Exhibiting these painters in the National Gallery also enables those who are familiar with their art to see it in a different light.”

Moreover, since 2009 the Foundation has awarded postdoctoral teaching fellowships and visiting professorships at London’s Courtauld Institute of Art, supporting advanced inquiry in American art history.

The Terra Foundation has also funded conferences and symposia at University College London, University of Nottingham, and University of York, as well as supported a survey of American Art in British public collections as part of the National Inventory Research Project at the University of Glasgow.

Terra Foundation for American Art
Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States. With financial resources of more than $250 million, an exceptional collection of American art from the colonial era to 1945, and an expansive grant program, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, and devotes approximately $12 million annually in support of American art exhibitions, projects, and research worldwide.