Enfilade

A Visual History of Rome: The Rodolfo Lanciani Digital Archive

Posted in resources by Editor on July 5, 2017

Francis Towne, The Colosseum from the Palatino, 1740; watercolor, 53.4 × 37.5 cm (Rome: Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte, Rodolfo Lanciani Collection, 16649 and Roma XI.1.I.15).

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Press release from Stanford, via Art Daily:

A team, which includes Stanford researchers, has created a new digital archive to study Rome’s transformation over the centuries. Images of Rome: The Rodolfo Lanciani Digital Archive, which went online in the spring, consists of almost 4,000 digitized drawings, prints, photographs, and sketches of Rome from the 16th to 20th centuries [with over 1,000 from the 18th century]. The pieces were collected by renowned Roman archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani (1845–1929), who sought to document the entire history of Rome’s archeology up to the end of the 19th century.

“Rome is a layered city,” said Erik Steiner, co-director of the Spatial History Project at Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA). “To be able to see that history you need to look through those layers, and this collection helps that process.”

The archive is a culmination of a two-year collaboration among CESTA, the Stanford University Libraries, University of Oregon, Dartmouth College, and the Italian government.

“This is part of our long-term ambition to bring one of the most documented cities in the world to the digital age,” Steiner said. “The project marries intense scholarly interest in Rome with best practices and tools built by the Stanford Libraries.”

Francesco Panini, Museo Vaticano, Museo Pio Clementino, 1775; watercolored pen and ink drawing, 72 × 51.2 cm (Rome: Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte, Rodolfo Lanciani Collection, Roma XI.61.II.69).

After Lanciani’s death in 1929, his library, which contains more than 21,000 items, was sold to the Istituto Nazionale di Archeologia e Storia dell’Arte (Italy’s National Institute of Archaeology and Art History) in Rome. Archaeologists, historians, architects, and other researchers who study ancient cities have used the collection to glean valuable information about Rome’s history and structure.

“These materials are very important and have been used by many different scholars, but access to them is quite limited,” said Roman archaeologist Giovanni Svevo, who also worked on the digital archive.

Viewing the archive requires a visit to the historic 15th-century Palazzo Venezia in central Rome. Lanciani’s collection is on the fourth floor and in its own dedicated room, which is open for only a few hours during weekdays. Only one folder from the collection can be viewed at a time. So the team—Steiner, Svevo, James Tice, a principal investigator on the project and an architecture professor at the University of Oregon, and Nicola Camerlenghi, an assistant professor of art history at Dartmouth College—set out to bring some of the collection onto the internet. Supported by a 2015 grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, they partnered with Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, and the National Institute to scan and create high-resolution images of each of the thousands of materials in the collection.

“Our collaboration with the Italian government on this project was very important,” Camerlenghi said. “It’s such a big help to scholars across the world when such teamwork can occur.”

Each digital object was categorized and tied to a descriptive set of data, so it could be properly stored and searched online. This part of the project demanded the most effort and care, the researchers said. The digital images and all associated descriptions are now permanently preserved in the Stanford Digital Repository.

“We believe this project is important for two reasons: it provides accessibility to a precious archival collection and, more broadly, it demonstrates a method whereby similar materials can be made available to scholars, students and the general public through the digital humanities,” Tice said.

Digitizing Lanciani’s collection is part of a larger effort to recreate the spatial history of Rome, a project named Mapping Rome, which Steiner and Tice began around 2004. As part of that effort, the team digitized the work of two 18th-century Italian architects, Giambattista Nolli and Giuseppe Vasi. They are also still working on completing the digitization of Lanciani’s famous Forma Urbis Romae, a cartographic map that traces Rome’s ancient ruins and its later developments. The map is 17 feet by 24 feet and is considered to have the most detailed information about Rome’s historical topography. The team envisions the end product to be an interactive map of Rome that links to the digitized archival materials.

“This is about telling a story of a place and reconstructing its past,” Steiner said. Beside allowing access to any scholar in the world, digitizing the archives also ensures their future preservation, Steiner emphasized. He said he hopes that more libraries and institutions around the world will devote time and funding to digitizing the humanities’ enormous body of historical documents.

“Nothing in the end would substitute holding primary documents in your hands, but you can answer a lot of scholarly questions by looking at them online in high resolution,” Camerlenghi said.

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New NGA Online Edition: French Paintings of the Eighteenth Century

Posted in museums, resources by Editor on June 27, 2017

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This new online component from the NGA in Washington, D.C. includes convenient access to lots of interesting material, including videos (under ‘related content’). It might be particularly useful for teachers looking to enrich course materials with digital offerings (and plenty of other things). CH

In conjunction with the recently opened exhibition, America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting, the National Gallery has released a new offering in its NGA Online Editions series, Focus Section—French Paintings of the Eighteenth Century.

The web-based Online Editions series is part of an ongoing effort to digitize and provide open access to the Gallery’s permanent collection catalogs and will eventually document more than 5,000 works of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. Focus Section—French Paintings of the Eighteenth Century includes essays devoted to 20 paintings and their four related artists’ biographies. Like other Online Editions, this iteration provides free and open access to illustrated scholarly entries, biographies of the artists, and technical summaries.

Other highlights of the features available to researchers include
A customized reading environment: An adjustable split-screen ‘reader mode’ allows users to view scholarly text alongside images, notes, and comparative figures or to view them in line with the text.
Compare and explore images: An image-comparison tool enables users to view primary and comparative images side by side or to explore technical images via overlay and cross-fading techniques.
Ease of research: The Online Editions toolbar provides preformatted citations for an object or biography, easy export, and quick access to archived pages.
Archived versions and permanent URLs: Immediate access to PDFs of earlier versions and the assurance of permanent web addresses are a convenience to students and scholars alike.
Enhanced search capabilities: An interactive search index is driven by an evolving list of terms particular to each area of the collection.

The NGA Online Editions series presents the same authoritative, peer-reviewed scholarship found within the Gallery’s bound volumes but enriched with customized tools for a more dynamic research experience.

 

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The Getty and YCBA Make 100,000 Images Available via IIIF

Posted in museums, resources by Editor on June 6, 2017

Press release (1 June 2017) from The Getty:

The Getty today made available more than 30,000 images of objects in the J. Paul Getty Museum collection using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) [pronounced ‘triple eye eff’], which allows researchers to bring together images from different institutional websites for comparison, manipulation and annotation. By clicking on the IIIF logo next to an image, users can pull together images from different collections, dragging and dropping millions of images and associated metadata from institutions across the world for side-by-side analysis. As a result, for the first time, users can digitally examine works of art held in separate collections worldwide and easily share their findings.

“With IIIF, scholars can move images beyond the confines of separate institutional websites and bring them together for study. It allows for deeper digital engagement with our collections than ever before,” said James Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

The Getty is a member of the International Image Interoperability Framework Consortium, a group of museums, libraries, archives and other research and educational institutions working together to advance the adoption of IIIF to facilitate scholarship and research. Another Consortium member, The Yale Center for British Art, also announced today the availability of nearly 70,000 images in its collection. The Yale Center and Getty join a growing number of institutions that are using IIIF or moving toward its implementation.

“The release of these images is just the first step for the Getty as we move toward universal adoption of IIIF for images from both the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute collections,” said Rich Fagen, the Getty’s Vice President and Chief Digital Officer. “We are excited to help digital arts scholarship reach this next frontier.”

The Getty and Yale Center for British Art release of IIIF images comes as both organizations are joining other members of the IIIF community at an international conference on IIIF development and implementation at the Vatican beginning June 5.

Learn more about IIIF at the Getty Iris.

Left: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Van Tromp, going about to please his Masters, Ships a Sea, getting a Good Wetting, 1844, oil on canvas (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum). Right: Joseph Mallord William Turner, Dort or Dordrecht: The Dort Packet-boat from Rotterdam Becalmed, 1818, oil on canvas (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection).

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Humanities Commons

Posted in resources by Editor on May 29, 2017

For many of us, summer means catching up on one’s scholarly profiles: filing activity reports, updating CVs, reformatting personal websites, and uploading academic papers. Now you have a new set of options with a new platform: Humanities Commons, a nonprofit, open-access network, built with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

As described on the ‘About’ page for HC:

Humanities Commons was designed by scholarly societies in the humanities to serve the needs of humanists as they engage in teaching and research that benefit the larger community. Unlike other social and academic communities, Humanities Commons is open-access, open-source, and nonprofit. It is focused on providing a space to discuss, share, and store cutting-edge research and innovative pedagogy—not on generating profits from users’ intellectual and personal data.

The network also features an open-access repository, the Commons Open Repository Exchange. CORE allows users to preserve their research and increase its reach by sharing it across disciplinary, institutional, and geographic boundaries. Developed in partnership with Columbia University’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, CORE is underwritten by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Office of Digital Humanities.

In December, Inside Higher Ed noted the launch of the beta version.

In a March posting for ACRLog, the blog of the Association of College & Research Libraries, Lily Troia interviewed Nicky Agate, Head of Digital Initiatives in the Office of Scholarly Communication at the Modern Language Association. The posting provides a useful introduction to Humanities Commons and how it differs from commercial services such as Academia.edu.

CAA is one of four societies currently participating, and the hub, CAA Commons, is scheduled for release in the coming weeks (months?). In the meantime (and at least at this point, it’s not obvious what additional features might be available with CAA Commons), anyone is invited to register, establish a profile, create a website (in cooperation with WordPress), upload papers, and start setting up groups. Groups can be public, private, or hidden. More information is available from the Guides and FAQ sections.

Craig Hanson

 

 

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Digital Development Award for Art History Publishing

Posted in resources by Editor on May 11, 2017

From ARIAH:

ARIAH Digital Development Award for Art History Publishing
Proposals due by 1 June 2017

ARIAH (Association of Research Institutes in Art History) is offering a new award that contributes funding to the development of digital publications. This award is aimed at scholars seeking to take advantage of new possibilities offered by digital publishing platforms for presenting art historical research. It is also aimed at online publishers (broadly defined to include different kinds of online platforms that disseminate research, such as online journals, digital project spaces, and discrete parts of museum websites dedicated to scholarly content). The award is intended to help scholars move into the digital realm; to encourage innovative ideas in how digital publishing can support new modes and methods for disseminating art historical research; and to assist collaboration between authors and online publishers to enhance the digital presentation of research, which, it is hoped, will serve as future models for others and find broader applications in the field.

Scope of the Award
Applications are invited for projects up to the sum of $10,000. However, projects requiring smaller sums of funding of $5,000 or less are strongly encouraged. The award is intended as a subvention to assist with the development of digital tools, the creation of digital media, or enhancement of digital platforms that form a necessary part of a single discrete art historical essay, article, or project. The digital platform must already be in existence (i.e., the award is not for developing entirely new platforms or journals). The award will be offered on a two-year cycle.

Application Process
A completed application form and Letter of Intent and a completed application form must reach the committee by June 1st, 2017. The committee will select the most promising projects and invite full applications to be submitted by September 1st, 2017. Submit any queries and completed applications to ariahdigital@gmail.com. Application materials are available here.

The British Library Launches ‘Picturing Places’

Posted in resources by Editor on May 4, 2017

J. Mérigot after Louis Bélanger, View of the Bridge across the Rio Cobre near Spanish Town, Jamaica; etching, aquatint, hand colouring; published in London, 20 April 1800 (London: British Library, Maps K.Top.123.55.b). This sublime aquatint of the River Cobre in Jamaica is after a design by Louis Bélanger. It is part of a series of six. There is no record of Bélanger ever visiting Jamaica. It appears that he adapted his designs for this work and another view in the series from George Robertson’s paintings of the island, available in print from the 1770s (see BL Maps K.Top.123.54.f.). The image is included in Miles Ogborn’s article for Picturing Places: “Slavery, Freedom and the Jamaican Landscape.”

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Felicity Myrone of the British Library shares this exciting news:

The British Library is delighted to announce the launch of Picturing Places, a new free online resource which explores the Library’s extensive holdings of landscape imagery. The British Library’s huge collection of historic prints and drawings is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Picturing Places showcases works of art by well-known artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and J.M.W. Turner alongside images by a multitude of lesser-known figures. Only a few have ever been seen or published before.

Historically, the British Library’s prints and drawings have been overlooked by scholars. This is the first time that a large and important body of such materials from the Library are being brought to light. While landscape images have often been treated as accurate records of place, this website reveals the many different stories involved—about travel and empire, science and exploration, the imagination, history, and observation.

As well as over 500 newly-digitised works of art from the collection, this growing site will feature over 100 articles by both emerging and established scholars from many disciplines. Part of the British Library’s ongoing Transforming Topography research project, films from the Library’s 2016 conference exploring the depiction of place are also accessible, providing revelatory insights about the history of landscape imagery.

Additional information is available here»

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The British Library Set To Expand

Posted in resources by Editor on April 19, 2017

British Library at St Pancras site and surroundings, including (center) the British Library, (right) St Pancras Station, and (top) the Francis Crick Institute (Photo by Ian Hay).

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Press release (11 April 2017) from the BL:

The British Library has selected a consortium led by property developer Stanhope, working with architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, as preferred partner for a project to develop a 2.8 acre site to the north of its Grade I Listed building at St Pancras in London as a major new centre for commerce, knowledge, and research.

At the heart of the development will be 100,000 sq ft of new British Library spaces for learning, exhibitions, and public use, including a new northern entrance and a bespoke headquarters for the Alan Turing Institute, the national centre for data science research. The development will also include new commercial space for organisations and companies that wish to be located at the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter, close to the Francis Crick Institute and the other knowledge-based companies, research organisations, amenities, and transport links located at King’s Cross and St Pancras.

The Stanhope consortium was appointed following a Competitive Dialogue procurement process that began in late 2015. Stanhope have 30 years’ experience of developing complex central London projects, including Broadgate, Paternoster Square, and the Tate Modern Switch House building. Stanhope are backed by strong financial partners and current projects include the regeneration of Television Centre, White City. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners are well-known for buildings such as the Grade I Listed Lloyds Building and the recent British Museum extension.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley said: “The British Library is one of our finest cultural institutions, housing an unparalleled collection of knowledge. This innovative project will increase access to the Library’s first-class collections, providing new exhibition spaces, learning opportunities, and facilities for visitors from Britain and around the world to enjoy. It is a significant commitment to digital research and data science, and I am pleased the expansion will provide a bespoke headquarters for the Alan Turing Institute.”

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “This new development alongside the Francis Crick Institute will be another gem in the crown of London’s Knowledge Quarter and an ideal location for commercial and life-sciences investment in an area already synonymous with pioneering thinking and Britain’s leadership in research. Our Industrial Strategy will support the development of projects like this to ensure the UK has the environment and skills we need to maintain our position at the forefront of innovation.”

Deputy Mayor for Business, Greater London Authority, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “This is another exciting development for London’s flourishing Knowledge Quarter, our world-leading life sciences sector and our rapidly growing reputation for data science. It is a huge vote of confidence in the capital post-Brexit. London is one of the greatest scientific cities on the planet. We are internationally renowned as a bastion of research and innovation and one of the most attractive places in the world for life and data science companies to do business. This new investment, just a stone’s throw from the Francis Crick Institute, is another huge boost to London’s role as a global capital of science and innovation. As well as leading to world-changing discoveries, products, and services, it will deliver new jobs and demonstrate that London is open to the world’s greatest scientific minds.”

The development project is a key part of the British Library’s Living Knowledge vision to become ever more open, creative, and innovative in the delivery of its purposes. The objectives of this development include:
• More exhibition spaces, increasing public access to the Library’s vast world-class collections
• New facilities for learners of all ages, with expanded programmes for schools, colleges, families, adult learners, and local communities
• Improved public areas and accessibility, with more places to sit and study
• An enhanced offering for business users, building on the success of the Library’s Business & IP Centre
• A new northern entrance close to the Francis Crick Institute and the main St Pancras Station concourse
• A permanent home for the Alan Turing Institute, the UK national centre for data science
• Flexible accommodation for third-party companies, institutions, and research organisations seeking to work at the heart of the Knowledge Quarter
• Environmental improvements including enhanced East-West connectivity for local people walking between Somers Town and St Pancras

HM Treasury and the Library’s sponsor department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have approved the Full Business Case for the project. The Development Agreement with Stanhope is to be finalised this summer, with the design and planning process—including close working with Camden Council, local communities and other neighbours and stakeholders, and an agreed solution to accommodating Crossrail 2 requirements into the development—taking place over the next eighteen months.

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “We are delighted to have secured such high-calibre partners to help realise our vision of the British Library’s London campus as a truly open, creative centre for knowledge. Sir Colin St John Wilson’s Grade I Listed building was one of the great public projects of the last century, and this new partnership will help us to preserve and respect its unique character while creating much-needed extra space both for our growing public audiences and the dynamic research communities in London’s Knowledge Quarter.”

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Website of The Carl Heinrich von Heineken Society

Posted in resources by Editor on March 5, 2017

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Many readers are likely to find the the Society and its website (in German, English, and French) of interest:

cropped-icon-01The Carl Heinrich von Heineken Society (Die Carl Heinrich von Heineken Gesellschaft) was established in 2016 and aims to explore the work and life of Carl Heinrich von Heineken (1707–1791), the founder of modern print studies. Building on Heineken’s Idée générale (the founding manifesto of all modern print rooms written in exile in Altdöbern), the Society considers previously unevaluated sources and sheds new light on the historic significance of the universal scholar for the Age of Enlightenment in the second half of the eighteenth century.

The Society also places particular emphasis on researching the history of Altdöbern Palace, including the sumptuous gardens co-designed by Heineken. The scholarly findings are frequently showcased in publications, public events, lectures, and exhibitions.

An art historical reference library is also being assembled, together with an extensive collection of prints which encompasses all engravings published by Heineken during his lifetime after artworks in the Dresden Picture Gallery and the painting collection of Count Brühl. These resources are available to all parties interested in art and culture upon request.

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Robert Jacob Gordon’s Drawings and Papers Now Available Online

Posted in online learning, resources by Editor on February 17, 2017

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Attributed to Robert Jacob Gordon, Upper (Northern) Half of Gordon’s ‘Great Map of Southern Africa, ca. 1786; ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper, 91.5 × 203 cm (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, RP-T-1914-17-3-A). More information and a high resolution image is available here»

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Press release (14 February 2017) from the Rijksmuseum:

Today the Rijksmuseum launches www.robertjacobgordon.nl through which all of Robert Jacob Gordon’s drawings, diaries and letters are made accessible to all for the first time. The 18th-century Dutch explorer documented South Africa’s inhabitants, flora, and fauna in more than 450 detailed drawings. He meticulously noted down in his diaries and letters everything he experienced during his expeditions. The drawings, which include unique 8-metre-long panoramas, form part of the collection at the Rijksmuseum. The diaries and letters are kept in the Brendhurst Library in Johannesburg. On the occasion of the exhibition Good Hope: South Africa and the Netherlands from 1600, all of Gordon’s diaries and drawings are reunited for the first time and thus present a comprehensive view of 18th-century South Africa.

Zoom in on 18th-Century South Africa

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Robert Jacob Gordon, Giraffa camelopardalis (Giraffe), 1779 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, RP-T-1914-17-149).

Through robertjacobgordon.nl, visitors are given a complete portrait of what Gordon encountered, and where. The site enables visitors to zoom in on the 18th-century map Gordon created alongside contemporary South Africa via Google Maps. The comparison revealed the uncanny accuracy of Gordon’s measurements. His diaries and letters are also made available digitally for the first time via the website. Gordon’s travel notes, discovered in 1960, are kept in the Brandhurst Library in Johannesburg. Through the website, these documents are made accessible for the first time. The original texts have been transcribed and translated into English for the occasion, with special functions linking Gordon’s texts to his drawings.

Robert Jacob Gordon

The 18th-century Dutch scientist Robert Jacob Gordon (1743–1795) travelled through the interior of South Africa during the second half of the 18th century. As a zoologist, cartographer, geographer, linguist, meteorologist, and anthropologist, he recorded his discoveries in an ‘Atlas’—a treasure trove of 450 drawings along with spectacular panoramas, multiple metres in length, that show precisely how Gordon portrayed the land, its inhabitants and the flora and fauna. To record all of this in words and in pictures, he made four extensive expeditions deep into the interior of South Africa, where he was frequently the mediator between the local people and the colonists, resolving conflicts arisen from arson, murders, and cattle thefts. As a representative of the European Enlightenment, Gordon poured his knowledge and expertise into the creation of ‘Great Map’, his compendium which remained unfinished due to his suicide in 1795 post the British invasion. A large number of Gordon’s drawings and metres-long, meticulously drawn panoramas can be seen in Rijksmuseum’s exhibition Good Hope: South Africa and the Netherlands from 1600 (17 February to 21 May 2017).

robertjacobgordon.nl is made possible by Cees en Ingeborg van der Burg and is created by the Rijksmuseum in association with Fabrique and Q42. The web address is obtained thanks to the Doesburgs’ Historical Society HetHuisDoesburg.

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Workshop and Symposium Grants from the Terra Foundation

Posted in fellowships, opportunities, resources by Editor on February 17, 2017

From the Terra Foundation:

Terra Foundation for American Art Academic Workshop and Symposium Grants
Fall 2017 Awards

Letters of inquiry due by 15 March 2017

The Terra Foundation for American Art actively supports projects that encourage international scholarship on American art topics, as well as scholarly projects with focused theses that further research of American art in an international context. Academic program funding is available for in-person exchanges such as workshops, symposia, and colloquia that advance scholarship in the field of American art (circa 1500–1980) that take place
• In Chicago or outside the United States, or
• In the United States and examine American art within an international context and include a significant number of international participants.

Additionally, the foundation welcomes applications for international research groups. Such groups should involve 2 to 4 faculty members from two or more academic institutions, at least one of which must be located outside the United States. Groups should pursue specific research questions that will advance scholarship and meet in person two or more times.

Visual arts that are eligible for Terra Foundation Academic Workshop and Symposium Grants include all visual art categories except architecture, performance art, and commercial film/animation. We favor programs that place objects and practices in an art historical perspective.

Note: The foundation funds museum-organized educational programs related to exhibitions through its Exhibition Grants; therefore only organizers from universities and research institutes may apply for exhibition-related programs through the Academic Program area.

Within a given year, the foundation seeks to support a range of topics. Please note that grants in this area are typically capped at $25,000 with exceptions only made for unusual circumstances.

While the Terra Foundation for American Art welcomes recurring requests, organizations that have submitted multiple applications should note that the foundation also attempts to fund programs at a variety of organizations. Due to the competitive nature of this program area, not every request can be funded, regardless of prior support.