Charles Sheeler, Bucks County Barn, 1940, oil on canvas,18 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (46.7 x 72.1 cm), Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.135


The Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences. Recognizing the importance of experiencing original works of art, the foundation provides opportunities for interaction and study, beginning with the presentation and growth of its own art collection in Chicago. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.

Letter from our President & CEO

Dear Friends,

I arrived at the Terra Foundation for American Art on September 1, 2020, deeply inspired by the foundation’s past accomplishments and ready to delve into the important work ahead of us. I look forward to sharing more about our future directions in the coming months as I speak with and learn from our partners and communities here in Chicago, nationally, and internationally. With the urgent and necessary calls for change within our arts and cultural institutions, I am committed to prioritizing equity and inclusion within the foundation’s work and to our role in evolving the field of American art at large.

As part of our ongoing response to the myriad challenges of the present moment, I am pleased to announce the second phase of relief funding for US museums, bringing the foundation’s total commitment to $8.5 million over the next two years. This initiative, Re-envisioning Permanent Collections, continues to assist with the financial challenges art institutions are facing while also recognizes the urgency of addressing inequities in the presentation and discussion of American art.

The initiative supports more expansive conceptions of American art that reflect richer and more diverse histories through new engagements with museums’ permanent collections in order to reveal the full multiplicity of artworks and voices that shape the artistic and cultural heritage of the United States. Importantly, our commitment to addressing racial, ethnic, and gender inequities in American art extends beyond artistic content and encompasses the support of opportunities for new, more inclusive models of research, interpretation, and collaborative engagement.

Guidelines for funding are available online. The next letter of inquiry deadline for Re-envisioning Permanent Collections is November 1, 2021.


Sharon Corwin
President & CEO