Terra Foundation-supported Events

Seminar: “Will Bradley’s Art of Art Direction” by Jennifer Greenhill

Jennifer Greenhill, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California, will presents a work-in-progress on graphic artist Will Bradley (1868-1962). Specifically, Greenhill will go beyond Bradley’s well-known contributions to magazine covers and advertisements in publications such as The Inland Printer and The Chap-Book. Greenhill will instead focus on the profound, but under-explored, impact Bradley made on American design in his role as art director for properties owned by William Randolph Hearst. Commissioning art, revamping layouts, and so on, Bradley shaped the look of the popular magazine at a key moment in its history when an influx of advertising revenue and advances in printing technologies made magazines an attractive artistic outlet. Overall, Greenhill aims to not only to piece together these understudied aspects of Bradley’s output but to also offer a fuller picture of Bradley’s significance to the history of design.

This interdisciplinary scholarly seminar is part of the on-going academic program Chicago: City of Design and Commerce, 1890–1990, which will run from fall 2017 through fall 2018. This series offers a forum for scholars to gather, share works-in-progress, and discuss new scholarship that explores Chicago’s contributions to design history. The series is presented by the Newberry Library’s Center for American History and Culture as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

For more information and to RSVP, please visit: https://www.newberry.org/04262018-jennifer-greenhill-university-southern-california

Distinguished W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture: Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold has been a pioneering figure in American art for six decades. Born in Harlem in 1930, Ringgold has developed a wide-ranging practice that includes painting, sculpture, quilt-making, writing, and performance. Her poetic and politically engaged work is part of museum collections across the United States. Join us for an insightful contextual and conversational slide lecture spanning artist Faith Ringgold’s impressive career. From painting herself into the canon of art history to re-visioning the iconography of the American flag, Ringgold’s “super realism” has redefined American painting.

Faith Ringgold is a painter, mixed media sculptor, teacher, lecturer, and author of numerous award winning children’s books. She received her B.S. and M.A. degrees in visual art from City College of New York in 1955 and 1959. Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of California in San Diego, Ringgold has received 23 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. For the past sixty years, Ringgold has fought tirelessly against the mainstream by promoting racial and gender equality in her practice.

She is the recipient of more than eighty awards and honors including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and most recently the Medal of Honor for Fine Arts from the National Arts Club. In 2017, Ringgold was elected as a member into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston.

An introduction to the artist by Dr. Zoe Whitley, co-curator of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power (Tate Modern, July 12–October 22, 2017), was read by Kirsten Weiss.

To view the recording of this event, please visit:

Collection Loan: Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad

From the collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Jane Peterson’s Marché aux Fleurs is exhibited in Jane Peterson: At Home and Abroad. This exhibition is also on view at the Mattatuck Museum, November 19, 2017–January 28, 2018Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina, May 13–July 22, 2018; and The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York, August 5–October 14, 2018. 

For more information, please visit:

Jane C. Peterson, Marché au Fleurs, 1908, oil on canvas, 17 1/8 x 23 1/8 in. (43.5 x 58.7 cm), 1994.17
Exhibition: Bill Walker: Urban Griot

William “Bill” Walker (1933 – 2011), was a prolific muralist best known for creating the iconic Wall of Respect on Chicago’s South Side in collaboration with the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC). Urban Griot highlights Walker’s artwork beyond the wall, spanning three series of drawings and several small paintings that he made between 1979 and 1984. The artwork, borrowed from Chicago State University’s collection, is a forceful documentation of the ills of Black urban society that still prevail today.

The exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

For more information, please visit: http://www.hydeparkart.org/exhibition-archive/bill-walker-urban-griot/

Research Workshop: “Framing Environmental Dimensions in American Art”

This second edition of the Terra Foundation Research Workshops will provide the opportunity to discuss current research on the relationship between the visual arts and changing notions of the environment. Exploring depictions of the American landscape, artistic documentation of humans’ impact on the environment, aesthetic notions of landscape conception, and shifting ecological viewpoints in art history, this session will focus on the following projects:

  • Our Home and Native Land – The American Landscape in the Paintings of Birger Sandzén and John F. Carlson
    Isabelle Gapp, PhD Candidate in Art History, University of York
  • “No Picturesque Lyricism Here”: Industrial Wastelands in Lee Friedlander’s Factory Valleys (1982)
    Susann Köhler, PhD Candidate in American Studies, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Observing the “New Landscape of Abstraction and Artifice”
    Nina Leger, Lecturer in Aesthetics, Université Paris 8
  • Toward an Ecocritical Turn of Art History
    Bénédicte Ramade, Lecturer in Art History, Université de Montréal

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in English. Please RSVP by April 2 to:
[email protected]

Collection Loan: 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 2018 to December 2018.

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

Charles Courtney Curran, Lotus Lilies, 1888, oil on canvas, 18 x 32 in. (45.7 x 81.3 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.35
Conference: “Images, Copyright, and the Public Domain in the Long Nineteenth Century”

Hosted by the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library in partnership with LARCA (Laboratoire de recherche sur les cultures anglophones) Université Paris Diderot, this conference will focus on how copyright policies had, and continue to have a profound impact on the creation and circulation of creative works. The program will bring together historians of material culture, art, law, and literature to explore the relationship between copyright law and the cultural, economic, and technological factors that transformed the pictorial landscape of the anglophone world in the nineteenth century.

The full conference brochure, and information about registration and fees are available on the Winterthur website. For more information, please visit: http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1354


Dialogue: “A Conflicted Geography: African American Artists & African Diaspora”

Among the critical questions that mark African American art historical scholarship today, the legacy of slavery and the transmission of cultural memories rooted in African traditions have emerged as some of the most loaded issues. Tracing the importance of the Afro-Atlantic diaspora in current debates has been recognized as an urgent task, which concerns critics and historians, as well as artists. Critical thinking on the subject is heightened by the growing breach between those who refuse to consider black art a distinct category, speaking instead to its universal experience, and voices that claim its unequivocal difference, with race at its very core.

This dialogue will reflect on racial politics and the geography of global circulation by asking how American art has, from the nineteenth century onwards, been interwoven with African/African American/African diaspora histories. Looking at the historical origins of these relationships and mapping their contemporary expressions, this event is part of the lecture series “The Artist as Geographer” (March 6 and 20, 2018), organized in conjunction with Steven Nelson’s spring 2018 term as Visiting Professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris.


  • Anne Lafont, Professor, École des hautes études en sciences sociales
  • Steven Nelson, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in English. Please RSVP by March 26 to:
[email protected]

Exhibition: Barbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite 1968–1975

Chicago-based artist Barbara Jones-Hogu was a central figure of the Black Arts Movement and a founding member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA). Throughout her career she has worked in painting, printmaking, film, education, and has contributed to major projects including Chicago’s Wall of Respect mural. This is her first solo museum exhibition and features works on paper including woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and screenprints.

This exhibition is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

For more information, please visit: http://museums.depaul.edu/exhibitions/upcoming/

Conference: “Experience and American Art”

What does it mean to experience a work of art? What does it mean for a work of art to register—even enact—an experience? Would it be possible for an art historian working now, in experiencing a work of art, to sense some aspect of lived experience from another time, another place?

Organized by:

  • Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
  • David Peters Corbett, Professor of American Art and Director, Centre for American Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art

For a complete listing of the events organized by the Centre for American Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, please visit their website.

For more information and to consult the full conference program, please visit: