Picturing, the first volume of the Terra Foundation Essays series, explores the creation and consumption of images from the early modern period through the end of the twentieth century.

Stories & News / Press Releases

Terra Foundation Essays Series Explores 300 Years of American Art, Premieres at Two-day International Symposium in Paris

May 5, 2016

Chicago, IL—The Terra Foundation for American Art announced today the release of Picturing, the first volume of the Terra Foundation Essays series, which explores fundamental ideas and concepts shaping American art and visual culture over the last three centuries.

“Designed as open-ended inquiries on a specific topic, these essays present original research by an international roster of established and emerging scholars who consider American art in multiple, cross-cultural contexts,” explained Terra Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Glassman.

For example, Picturing, edited by Princeton University professor Rachael Z. DeLue, features essays by scholars who discuss the creation and consumption of images. Some authors focus on art critical texts, such as Gertrude Stein’s portrait of Cézanne, while others have as their point of departure particular artworks, including a portrait of Benjamin Franklin and Eadweard Muybridge’s nineteenth-century photographs of the California coast. Collectively, the contributors address some of most pressing questions of picturing: What is an image, and why make one? What do images do?

According to DeLue, “I hope that by putting such queries front and center, Picturing will serve as a foundation for further research and writing in art history and other disciplines concerned with the history and theory of visual representation as both a phenomenon and an idea in the United States and beyond.”

Upcoming volumes of the Terra Foundation Essays series, distributed by the University of Chicago Press, include examinations of scale—to be published this fall—circulation, experience, intermedia, and color. Picturing and all subsequent volumes will also be available in e-book and iBook formats.

In conjunction with the release of Picturing, the Terra Foundation and the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte Paris (DFK Paris) are co-organizing a two-day international symposium, on May 19 and 20, in Paris. Entitled “Rethinking Pictures: A Transatlantic Dialogue,” the event will consider the differences and similarities in German and American approaches to the concept of the picture.

To learn more about the Terra Foundation Essays series, please visit https://www.terraamericanart.org/what-we-offer/american-art-resources/terra-foundation-essays/.

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, supporting exhibitions, academic programs, and research worldwide.