Terra Foundation-supported Events

Lectures & Symposia

Lecture Series: “The Body of a Nation”

Please join Miguel de Baca, Terra Foundation Visiting Professor of American Art at the University of Oxford, for this year’s Terra Foundation Lectures in American Art at Oxford University.

Lectures will be held at 5:00 pm in the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College, and all are welcome. The final lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

May 2
“Suicide in White and Black: Thomas Cole’s Destruction and the American Empire”

May 9
“Skin and Absence: the Radical Ceramics and Poetry of the Enslaved Dave the Potter”

May 16
“Modernism Disfigured: Cult and Illicit Ritual in New Mexico in the Works of Georgia O’Keeffe and Martha Graham”

May 23
“The Great Disappearing George Washington: History and the Head of State in Contemporary American Art”

For more information, please visit: https://www.hoa.ox.ac.uk/events

Study Day: “Video Art and the Public Sphere in the US: 1965–1980”

This conversational study session will examine video art as a young medium and its relationship to the public, broadly speaking, during the contentious late 1960s and 1970s when visions of American democracy were changing. We are interested in video’s activist identity and its contributions to cultures of protest, its relationship to the “establishment,” modes of dissemination, collaborative making practices, portability, and its insertion into transnational dialogues.

LUX is an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices and the ideas that surround them. The only organization of its kind in the UK, LUX represents the country’s only significant collection of artists’ film and video, and is the largest distributor of such work in Europe.

This event is by invitation only.

Conference: “Art, Life & Politics: American Printmaking from the 1960s to Today”

Printmaking concerns social attitudes, you know—politics and a public.”
Franz Kline, Artnews, January 1972, p. 29.

This international conference will look at the ways printmaking engaged with and often challenged American society and politics from the 1960s to today. Special attention will be given to print workshops, collaborative practices, and the ways in which the print media encouraged art activism. Focusing on the specificity of materiality and creative process, the conference seeks to examine how the various layers of these works could be socially and/or politically encoded. Among the questions speakers will address: How was the meaning of artistic authorship redefined through printmaking? Who were the audiences? How did artists use original multiples at a time when the personal and the political became increasingly intertwined?

“Art, Life & Politics” is held in conjunction with the exhibition The American Dream: Pop to the Present. Prints from the British Museum, a collaboration between the Fondation Custodia, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the British Museum.


  • Stephen Coppel (Curator, Modern Prints and Drawings, British Museum)
  • Jacqueline Francis (Associate Professor, Visual and Critical Studies Department, California College of the Arts)
  • Elisabeth Lebovici (Independent Scholar)
  • Laurence Schmidlin (Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne)
  • Richard Shiff (Professor, Art History, The University of Texas at Austin)
  • Susan Tallman (Adjunct Associate Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago & Editor-in-Chief, Art in Print)
  • Hervé Vanel (Assistant Professor, Art History, The American University of Paris)

On this occasion, a conversation between artist Jim Dine and Ruth Fine (Independent Curator & Curator Emeritus, Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art) will also take place. This event is by separate invitation only.

For more information and to consult the full conference program, please click here.

Symposium: “Empathy, Intimacy, and Ethics in American Art”

Do we feel ourselves by looking at objects? This two-day international symposium in Berlin returns to the late nineteenth-century German proposal that empathy (die Einfühlung) constitutes a way to understand aesthetic response. In contemporary usage, empathy implies the ability to share another person’s feelings, offering the possibility of transcending social divisions through emotion. However, the word’s complex life begins in an aesthetic theory of how human emotions project into optical forms.

Who feels themselves in which objects? Considering the relationships of visual perception, bodily touch, and emotional response, symposium speakers will offer new narratives and counter-narratives of empathy and intimacy that foreground the differences of power, race, ethnicity, and gender that mark the complex history of American art. Talks will range across art forms, styles, and periods, including nineteenth-century performances and neo-classical sculpture, early twentieth-century urban photography and Communist dance, post-war abstract sculpture by veterans in France, contemporary memorials to victims of police brutality, and social practice projects with refugees. We will consider empathy as a notion for opening connections, as well as highlighting the disconnections, among separated academic disciplines and national aesthetic histories.


  • Larne Abse Gogarty
  • Saidiya Hartman
  • Caroline A. Jones
  • Lauren Kroiz
  • Katharina Oguntoye
  • Hortense Spillers
  • Leigh Raiford
  • Heike Raphael-Hernandez

For more information, please visit: