Terra Foundation Essays

Terra Foundation Publications

The foundation produces titles that result from or complement the work of the foundation’s curatorial and academic program teams. These books include exhibition catalogues in multiple-language editions, scholarly monographs, critical anthologies, and a thematic research series and serve as a resource to scholars, students, and the arts-interested public.

A selection of our titles appears below.

Art of the United States, 1750–2000: Primary Sources

Art of the United States, 1750–2000: Primary Sources

Art of the United States is a landmark volume that presents three centuries of US art through a broad array of historical texts, including writings by artists, critics, patrons, literary figures, and other commentators. With contextual essays, explanatory headnotes, a chronology of US historical landmarks, maps, and full-color illustrations of key artworks, the volume is intended for US and international audiences ranging from undergraduates and museum visitors to art historians and other scholars. Texts by a range of artists and cultural figures—including John Adams, Thomas Cole, Frederick Douglass, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Clement Greenberg, and Cindy Sherman—are grouped according to historical era alongside additional featured artists. The volume brings together multiple voices throughout the ages to provide a framework for learning and critical thinking on US art.

John Davis and Michael Leja. Edited by Francesca Rose.

Softcover, 544 pages, 90 color plates, 36 halftones, 4 maps

Published by the Terra Foundation for American Art, 2020

$39, available through The University of Chicago Press.

For subscribers in the United States and United Kingdom, the volume is featured on the Art & Architecture ePortal.

Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon

Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon

On September 29, 2018, before a live audience at Navy Pier in Chicago, international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted his first US Marathon interview session as part of Art Design Chicago, a yearlong celebration of Chicago’s art and design legacy initiated by the Terra Foundation. Obrist, who has undertaken a life-long project of interviewing cultural figures, spoke with more than twenty of Chicago’s most innovative and influential artists, designers, architects, writers, and other creatives. In their interviews, this diverse group of creatives provided insights into their artistic processes, influences, and ideas about and hopes for their shared city of Chicago. Among the participants were social-practice artist/developer Theaster Gates, architect Jeanne Gang, writer Eve Ewing, Hairy Who artists Art Green and Suellen Rocca, performance/installation artist Shani Crowe, and the city’s cultural historian Tim Samuelson.

Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon serves as documentation for this event, including edited transcripts of the interviews, biographies of the participants, photos of the event, and images of the artists’ work.

Hans Ulrich Obrist and Alison Cuddy

Softcover, 192 pages, 100 color plates

Published by the Terra Foundation for American Art, 2019

$24.95, available through The University of Chicago Press

Download the text.

Conversations with the Collection: A Terra Foundation Collection Handbook

Conversations with the Collection: A Terra Foundation Collection Handbook

The Terra Foundation uses its collection of American art from the 1750s to 1980s to fulfill its mission. Since the foundation’s establishment in 1978, it has sought to share the collection’s pieces by American artists like Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Edward Hopper with national and international audiences, encouraging the study of the art of the United States around the world.

This volume helps to realize the foundation’s mission to bring art and scholarship to a global audience. The handbook entries and scholars’ responses to the artworks that comprise these conversations provide insight not only into the collection and its holdings, but also into the foundation’s history of making these works accessible to art historians and art lovers around the world.

Edited by Katherine M. Bourguignon and Peter John Brownlee

Softcover, 308 pages, 130 color plates

Published by the Terra Foundation for American Art, 2018

$24.95, available through The University of Chicago Press.

The digital edition is also available online at conversations.terraamericanart.org, which is accompanied by ArtNav, a digital interpretive tool to explore works in the collection in greater depth.

Terra Foundation Essays

Terra Foundation Essays

The Terra Foundation Essays series provides an international forum for the thorough and sustained exploration of fundamental ideas and concepts that have shaped American art and culture over time. Exploring and illuminating a selection of important ideas within the production and consumption of art in the United States over three centuries, this series presents original research by an international roster of established and emerging scholars who consider American art in its multiple, trans-geographic contexts. The essays in each volume expand the conceptual and methodological terrain of scholarship on American art, offering comparative models and conceptual tools relevant to all scholars of art history and visual culture, as well as other disciplines within the humanities.

Rachael Z. DeLue (Princeton University) serves as series editor for the Terra Foundation Essays series, which includes four volumes: Picturing, Scale, Circulation, and Experience.

The Terra Foundation Essays are published by the Terra Foundation for American Art and distributed by University of Chicago Press.

For subscribers in the United States and United Kingdom, the volumes are featured on the Art & Architecture ePortal.

Learn more about each volume and download the texts.