Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative

Thomas Cole, American (born in England), 1801–1848, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, 1828, oil on canvas, 100.96 x 138.43 cm (39 3/4 x 54 1/2 in.), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik, Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865, 47.1188, Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art developed a nationwide initiative to support multi-year exhibition partnerships among a group of cohorts that includes a large metropolitan museum and institutions in primarily non-metropolitan areas serving local communities. The initiative expects to generate exhibitions at more than 50 museums and arts venues, and meet a spectrum of audience interests. The Art Bridges + Terra Foundation Initiative aims to:

  • Expand access to outstanding works of American art among audiences across the United States;
  • Create opportunities to curate collaboratively using shared collections and resources;
  • Foster professional-development exchange among all participating institutions;
  • Form a nationwide network of institutions committed to presenting American art in innovative ways; and
  • Broaden the relevance of museums in the 21st century by piloting meaningful exhibitions with specific communities in mind.

Initiative grants were offered through invitation to support the co-creation of series of exhibitions of art of the United States that are presented at partner institutions. The content-rich exhibitions are customized for local audiences and include in-depth educational and interpretive materials. Integral to the collaborations are the inclusion of planned professional development events among the partners.

Presenting institutions are also supported directly by Art Bridges for related programming, community outreach, audience engagement, and evaluation.

Grantees & Partners

— Fenimore Art Museum (Cooperstown, NY)
— Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT)
— Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts (Springfield, MA)
— Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (Utica, NY)

— Clinton Arts Center (Clinton, MI)
— Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City, MI)
— Flint Institute of Arts (Flint, MI)
— Grand Rapids Art Museum (Grand Rapids, MI)
— Muskegon Museum of Art (Muskegon, MI)
— William Bonifas Fine Arts Center (Escanaba, MI)
— Oakland University Art Gallery (Rochester, MI)
— Lorenzo Cultural Center, Macomb Community College Center Campus (Clinton Township, MI)
— Sisson Art Gallery, Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI)

— Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, PA)
— Demuth Museum/Lancaster Museum of Art (Lancaster, PA)
— Erie Art Museum (Erie, PA)
— James A. Michener Art Museum (Doylestown, PA)
— Palmer Museum of Art [Penn State University]
(University Park, PA)
— Reading Public Museum (Reading, PA)
— Trout Gallery [Dickinson College] (Carlisle, PA)
— Westmoreland Museum of American Art (Greensburg, PA)

— Boise Art Museum (Boise, ID)
— Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art [University of Oregon] (Eugene, OR)
— Nevada Museum of Art (Reno, NV)
— Utah Museum of Fine Arts [University of Utah] (Salt Lake City, UT)
— Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, WA)

— California State University, Northridge Art Galleries (Northridge, CA)
— Lancaster Museum of Art and History (Lancaster, CA)
— Riverside Art Museum (Riverside, CA)
— Vincent Price Art Museum (Monterey Park, CA)

Initiative Announcements: Press Releases

April 5, 2018: “First Round of Partners and Programs Announced for New $15 Million Collection-sharing Terra-Art Bridges Initiative”

April 5, 2018: “MFA Boston Receives Grant of Nearly $2 Million from Terra Foundation for American Art as Part of New Collection-Sharing Initiative”

March 22, 2018: “Detroit Institute of Arts takes American paintings from the Manoogian Collection on the road ‘Visions of American Life: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection, 1850–1940’ and ‘American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection’”

April 29, 2019: “Philadelphia Museum of Art receives major grant from Art Bridges and the Terra Foundation for American Art to launch collection-sharing partnership across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”

July 8, 2019: “Smithsonian American Art Museum Receives Major Grant for Five-Year Collaboration With Five Partner Museums Across the American West”

In the News


Paintings of the Madonna featured at Allentown Art Museum, February 5, Artdaily


Utah Museum of Fine Arts makes spectacular choices in loans from Smithsonian American Art Museum, Art Bridges, November 5, The Utah Review

Paintings from the Smithsonian are hanging at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. An expert explains why they matter., October 25, The Salt Lake Tribune

Smithsonian Partners with Boise Art Museum on Western Art Collective, July 9, Boise Weekly

A Georgia O’Keeffe painting and other works from the Smithsonian will visit Utah Museum of Fine Arts, July 8, The Salt Lake Tribune

Smithsonian Receives $2 million grant for Exhibition Partnership, July 8, Artnews

Share the Wealth, May 6, The Wall Street Journal

Sharing the Wealth: Phila. Museum of Art Lends Artwork to Smaller Pa. Museums, April 29, The Philadelphia Inquirer


Art Exhibits Fill Galleries at the Mattatuck, July 8, Republican American

Two Eras of ‘Icebergs!’ On Exhibit at Mattatuck, June 29, Hartford Courant

‘Thomas Cole and The Garden of Eden’ at Fenimore Art Museum, June 29, WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Boston Museum of Fine Arts To Exhibit Masterpieces in Springfield, Other Museums, April 7, MassLive

MWPAI To Share Collections with Boston Museum, April 6, Observer Dispatch

First Round of Partners and Programs Announced by Terra-Art Bridges Initiative, April 6, Apollo

The Terra Foundation and Alice Walton Join Forces, April 6, Artnet

For Collection-sharing Initiative, Terra Foundation and Art Bridges Tap Detroit Institute of Arts, MFA Boston, April 6, Artnews

Bridging the Divide: Terra Foundation and Art Bridges Fund Collaborative Programming between Major Art Institutions and Smaller, Regional Venues, April 5, The Art Newspaper

MFA To Partner with Regional Museums, April 5, Boston Globe