Alex J. Taylor is the newly appointed Terra Foundation Fellow in American Art at Tate.

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Tate Appoints Alex J. Taylor as Terra Foundation Research Fellow in American Art

September 11, 2014

Tate and the Terra Foundation for American Art are delighted to announce the appointment of Alex J. Taylor as the Terra Foundation Research Fellow in American Art.

“Research plays a fundamental role in Tate’s mission to increase the public’s knowledge, enjoyment, and understanding of the art it collects,” explained Tate’s Head of Collection Research. “The new initiative promises to forge new perspectives on post-war American art and deepen the rich interpretative information that Tate makes available to the public on works in the collection.”

Taylor will lead a three-year research initiative at Tate, developing new scholarship on the museum’s holdings of modern American art before 1980. Tate’s collection has great strengths in the field of modern American art, include its “Rothko Room” of the Seagram Murals, acquired in 1969. In recent years, the collection has grown steadily, exemplifying the complexities of American art in the post-war years, as well as its interconnectedness with practice elsewhere in the world. In 2008 Tate’s holdings were dramatically increased by the gift to the nation of the ARTIST ROOMS collection, which represents the work of artists such as Diane Arbus, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol.

“Over the last decade or so, Tate has been able to reveal a richer and more complex view of modernism,” said Taylor. “This initiative represents a remarkable opportunity to shine new light on the equally multifaceted role of American art and culture in this history.”

The fellowship and the associated program of research are supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art. It is the first such museum-based research program the foundation has supported, demonstrating its commitment to innovative approaches to the study of American art from an international perspective. Planned outcomes of the initiative include “In Focus” projects on individual works (to be published on Tate’s website), gallery displays, academic workshops, and a major international conference. Working with leading scholars in the UK, America, and elsewhere, the Terra Foundation Research Fellow in American Art will explore a range of new approaches to the study of modern American art, bridging the worlds of academia and the museum.

“We are pleased to continue our ongoing partnership with Tate, which has included support for numerous exhibitions, such as the work of Arshile Gorky at Tate Modern, Eadweard Muybridge at Tate Britain, and Andy Warhol at Tate Liverpool,” said Terra Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Glassman. “This research fellowship represents a new avenue. It demonstrates both partners’ commitment to fostering innovative scholarship on the history of American art from international perspectives and for global audiences.”

Alex J. Taylor is an Australian-born historian of modern American art and visual culture. He was awarded a Clarendon Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford, where his doctoral research concerned corporate art patronage in the 1960s. Taylor’s work on the sculpture of Alexander Calder has appeared in the Oxford Art Journal and American Art, and received the Terra Foundation for American Art Essay Prize in 2011. He worked widely as a writer and a curator in Australia, and is the author of Perils of the Studio (2007).


Tate is a family of four galleries in London, Liverpool and St Ives. Founded as the National Gallery of British Art by Sir Henry Tate in 1897, it quickly became known as the Tate Gallery after its founder. Tate’s mission today is to increase public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of British art from 1500, and modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present day. It seeks to do this through its changing displays of the collection and an inspiring programme of exhibitions and events in and beyond our galleries in the UK and internationally. Tate holds the national collection of British art from 1500 to the present day and international modern and contemporary art. The collection embraces all media, from painting, drawing, sculpture and prints to photography, video and film, installation and performance. One of nineteen national museums funded by the Government, Tate is a non-departmental Public Body (NDPB), whose prime sponsor is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). For more information, please visit

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 $350 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.