Terra Foundation International Essay Prize

The Terra Foundation for American Art awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum a grant to administer a biennial prize that recognizes scholarship by a non-US citizen working in the field of historical American art. The aim of the award is to stimulate and actively support non-US scholars working on American art topics, foster the international exchange of new ideas, and create a broad, culturally comparative dialogue on American art. Manuscripts should advance the understanding of American art, demonstrating new findings and original perspectives. The prize winner will be given the opportunity to work toward publication in American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s scholarly journal. The winner receives a $1,000 cash award and a travel stipend of up to $3,000 to give a presentation in Washington, DC, and meet with museum staff and fellows.

Please note, this program is no longer active. If you have questions about our grant and fellowship opportunities, please contact [email protected].

For information about past recipients, please visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum website.

Past Recipients


Paisid Aramphongphan, Leicester School of Art
“An Artist in the Secular World: Paul Thek’s Relics”


Susanneh Bieber, Texas A&M University
“Going Back to Kansas City: The Origins of Judd’s Minimal Art”


Hadrien Viraben, Université de Rouen
“Achille Segard Interviews Mary Cassatt: A Living Master of Impressionism, Her Biographer, and the General Audience”


John Fagg, University of Birmingham
“Bedpans and Gibson Girls: Clutter and Matter in John Sloan’s Graphic Art”


Edyta Frelik, Maria Curie Sklodowska University, Lublin
“Ad Reinhart: Painter as Writer”


Sophie Cras, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
“Art as Investment and ‘Artistic Shareholding’ Experiments in the 1960s”


Alex J. Taylor, University of Oxford
“Unstable Motives: Propaganda, Politics, and the Late Work of Alexander Calder”


Sergio Cortesini, University of Cassino
“Invisible Canvases: Italian Painters and Fascist Myths across the American Scene”