Dr. Adeyemi Akande, who teaches art and architectural history at the University of Lagos, received a travel grant to the United States to conduct research on the Chicago-born architectural photographer Ezra Stoller.

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Terra Foundation Announces Recipients of 2017 International Academic Awards & Fellowships

June 21, 2017

Chicago, IL—The Terra Foundation for American Art announced today its international academic award and fellowship recipients for 2017, including Dr. Adeyemi Akande, an African scholar who received a travel grant to the United States to conduct research on photographer Ezra Stoller, and Susanneh Bieber, a German scholar currently teaching at Texas A&M University who was awarded the foundation’s international essay prize. Also named were the nine awardees of the inaugural Terra Foundation International Research Travel Grants for US-based Scholars, including Julia Neal, a PhD candidate in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. (View the complete list of 2017 academic award and fellowship recipients.)

“Beginning with our first summer residency program in 2001, the foundation has provided a wide range of fellowships and academic awards to scholars such as Dr. Akande, Ms. Bieber, and Ms. Neal, who bring new perspectives and vitality to the field of American art history,” stated Terra Foundation President & CEO Elizabeth Glassman. “I congratulate and welcome the three of them, and all of this year’s fellows, to the diverse network of nearly 500 Terra Foundation alumni who are helping to initiate and sustain meaningful cross-cultural dialogues in countries across the globe.”

Akande, who studied at the University of Ibadan, New York Institute of Photography (2009), and Warnborough College (PhD, 2012), currently teaches art and architectural history at the University of Lagos, in Nigeria. He will travel to Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island to conduct research on the Chicago-born architectural photographer for his project “Extra Ezra: Understanding Modernism through the Photography of Ezra Stoller.”

“The travel grant will afford me the opportunity to appreciate architecture as seen by photographer Ezra Stoller,” explained Akande. “Being physically present will provide the opportunity to stand in Stoller’s shoes, right on the spot where he took his shots. I will see what Stoller saw and hopefully understand his visual interpretation of modernist architecture with greater accuracy.”

While Akande travels across the United States, the recipients of Terra Foundation International Research Travel Grants for US-based Scholars will collectively travel to Argentina, Brazil, England, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Scotland, and Sweden. Ms. Neal, for example, will spend four months in the German cities of Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, and Cologne to research her dissertation topic “Who Taught You To Think (Like That): Benjamin Patterson’s Conceptual Aesthetic.”

“This travel grant facilitates serious study into the history and work of Fluxus co-founder Benjamin Patterson, an African American artist who relocated to Germany,” according to Neal. “The award will allow me to access historical documents and objects necessary in the consideration and construction of Patterson’s transnational career, from his personal archives at his home in Wiesbaden, to individual and gallery archives at the Zentralarchiv des internationalen Kunsthandels in Cologne and the Archive Sohm in Stuttgart. Experiencing these collections firsthand will help me consider the roles of experimental music, sound, play, and blackness in his practice and write an art history that utilizes material not yet incorporated into Fluxus history.”

“We are delighted with the results of our first year of offering grants to US-based scholars whose research on American art requires travel abroad,” stated John Davis, Terra Foundation Executive Director for Europe and Global Academic Programs. “This new program was developed after a year-long study analyzing the needs of scholars of American art throughout the world. In the coming year, the foundation will be rolling out of additional opportunities supporting the work of postdoctoral scholars and graduate students in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK.”

Research travel grants are just one kind of support offered by the foundation. Other opportunities include:

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 period to 1945 and an expansive grant program, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, supporting exhibitions, academic programs, publications, and research worldwide. Since 2005, the Terra Foundation has provided more than $80 million for nearly 800 exhibitions and education and scholarly programs in more than 30 countries, including Brazil, China, Israel, Russia, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom.