Terra Foundation-supported Events

Exhibition/Collection Loan: Americans Abroad: Landscape and Artistic Exchange, 1800-1920

Organized by the Eskenazi Museum of Art, at Indiana University, Bloomington, and the Tsinghua University Art Museum, Americans Abroad: Landscape and Artistic Exchange, 1800–1920 showcases American and European paintings dating from the late eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century to address the affinities and influences between American and European art.

Included in the exhibition are seven works from the Terra Foundation collection:

For more information, please visit:

Lyonel Feininger, Denstedt, 1917, Oil on canvas, 34 3/8 x 46 5/8 in. (87.3 x 118.4 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1988.27
Exhibition: Chiura Obata: An American Modern

Chiura Obata (1885–1975) was one of the most significant Japanese American artists working on the West Coast in the last century. Born in Okayama, Japan, Obata emigrated to the United States in 1903 and embarked on a seven-decade career that saw the enactment of anti-immigration laws and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. This exhibition presents an unprecedented survey of Obata’s rich and varied body of work that includes over 150 paintings and personal effects, many of which have never been on public display.

This exhibition was previously on view at the Art, Design, and Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara  and the Utah Museum of Fine Art. It will also travel to the Crocker Art Museum (June 23–September 29, 2019), the Crocker Art Museum (June 23 – September 29, 2019), and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (November 1, 2019–April 12, 2020).

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Seminar: “‘Luminism’: Museums and the Production of Knowledge”

“Luminism” is a term that in the 1960s was deployed to designate and define a school of mid-nineteenth century American landscape painting as nationally and artistically significant. It raised a group of hitherto minor painters to prominence and designated them as the most important, distinctively American contribution to the art of the United States of the entire century. By the late 1980s, however, no academic scholar used the term. In this paper, Bruce Robertson (Professor of Art & Architecture and Director of Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara) will examine the critical role museums played in the production of the canon of American art, and the interaction among academic scholarship, museums, and markets, within the framework of national political developments. Analyzing the success and failure of “luminism,” he will consider the strength and limits of museums to shape canons, and suggest some other examples worth examining. American art has a particular value in examining the knowledge work that museums do because the growth of American art is exactly coincident with the development of the public museum.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sh.se/p3/ext/content.nsf/aget?openagent&key=higher_seminars_1422964898322.

Exhibition: Dimensionism: Modern Art in the Age of Einstein

This exhibition explores the impact of groundbreaking scientific discoveries on American and European artists in the 20th century. Hungarian poet Charles Sirató’s 1936 “Dimensionist Manifesto” declared that artists should strive to respond to the scientific revolutions going on around them. Artists in dialogue with Dimensionism explored these revolutions in their practice, engaging with physics, astronomy, and microbiology. The show brings together works by those who either signed or drew inspiration from the Dimensionist Manifesto, including such artists as Alexander Calder (1898–1976), Joseph Cornell (1903–1972), Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968), Helen Lundeberg (1908–1999), Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), and Man Ray (1890–1976).

This exhibition will travel next to the Mead Art Museum (March 28–July 28, 2019). For more information, please visit:


Collection On View: Gallery Installation

Since April 2005, the Terra Foundation of American Art has loaned works for display to the Department of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). Works from the collection of the Terra Foundation and works from the Art Institute of Chicago are located together in a suite of galleries, together providing one of the nation’s most comprehensive presentations of American art.

This installation is ongoing, January 2019 to December 2019.

For more information, please visit http://www.artic.edu/collections/art-institute-chicago-and-terra-foundation-american-art.

John Singer Sargent, Dennis Miller Bunker Painting at Calcot, 1888, oil on canvas mounted on masonite, 27 x 25 1/4 in. (68.6 x 64.1 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.130
Lecture: “‘Art knows no geographical lines’: The influence of Edwardian British artists on Pittsburgh’s Carnegie International exhibitions”

In this paper, Alison Clarke, 2018–19 Terra Foundation-Paul Mellon Centre Fellow, explores the relationship between British artists and the annual International exhibition established at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute in 1896.

Until the advent of the First World War, the International provided a forum for the American exhibition of works by British artists such as Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Frank Brangwyn, and John Macallen Swan. In return, these artists offered guidance to the Institute on how to negotiate the British art scene, as well as acting as judges on the International Jury established to award exhibition prizes. In particular, landscape painter Alfred East established a firm friendship with Carnegie Museum Director John W. Beatty, detailed in the numerous letters exchanged between the pair. East visited Pittsburgh on multiple occasions, selling works to American buyers and producing watercolors on trips up the coast to Connecticut. This previously unexplored link between British artists and an American museum provides an illuminating snapshot of transatlantic artistic interchange in the Edwardian period.

For more information and to book tickets, please visit: https://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/whats-on/forthcoming/terra-pmc-fellowship.

Exhibition: Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor

Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor illuminates how Alexander Calder’s (1898–1976) disruption of both conventional hierarchies of fine art and the boundaries between utilitarian and aesthetic objects gave him the freedom to develop novel approaches within a range of media. This comprehensive exhibition includes a variety of key works by Calder, including sculptures, drawings performances, and jewelry.

This exhibition will also be on view at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (April 5, 2019–August 4, 2019) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (September 13, 2019–January 12, 2020). More information is forthcoming.

For more information, please visit:


Conference: “Methodologies of Exchange: MoMA’s Twentieth-Century Italian Art (1949)”

Hosted at the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), the program will examine the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) exhibition Twentieth-Century Italian Art (1949) and how it shaped American artists’ views of Italian modernism. To study those involved in the MoMA show and those directly affected by its consequences, the program will be divided into two main sections: the first half looking at the reception of Italian art and artists in the United States, and the second half focused on American artists. This Study Day will be held at CIMA in connection with the 107th meeting of the College Art Association and the 70th anniversary of the MoMA exhibition.

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Symposium: “International Perspectives on American Art”

Co-hosted by the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies and the Art History Department at Johannes Gutenberg University, this event will consist of a one-day conference with scholars from Europe and the US and a one-day workshop for undergraduate and graduates students. The gatherings will bring together early Americanist scholars from North America and Europe in conversation around transatlantic perspectives on developments in the field of early American studies.

For more information, please visit:


Lecture: “Exile Modernism”

This lecture by Dr. Andrew Witt, Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, addresses the photographic work of Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid undertaken in Los Angeles in the early 1940s. Although Deren and Hammid occupy an important place in the history of avant-garde film, noted for their collaboration Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), their photographic work appears as a blind spot in the history of art and photography. In order to provide shape and context to their work, Andrew Witt considers the writing of other European artists and writers who were exiled in Los Angeles. His paper is motivated by the belief that avant-garde activity encountered in Los Angeles at this moment proposes a new problematic to think through the formation of experimental photography, community, and migration in the history of American art.

The talk will be held at the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte (IKB), Room 0.12.

For more information, please visit: http://www.kunstgeschichte.hu-berlin.de/veranstaltungen/fellow-talk-dr-andrew-witt/.