American Art
Luce Fund In American Art
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Luce Fund in American Art

This category supports scholarly special exhibitions and their related publications that contribute significantly to the study of American art. Each proposed project must result in a tangible product that can be added to the body of scholarship in the field of American art. Applicants must be the originator of the exhibition project, not a subsequent venue.

All periods and genres of American art history are included. Intellectual merit and potential contribution to scholarship are the most important criteria for evaluating proposals. Demonstrable impact of the artist or subject must be substantiated.

The program is aesthetically and object-based and does not include projects that are primarily historical, documentary, social, technological, or that concern private collections. Exhibitions with substantial involvement of an artist's estate or commercial dealer cannot be considered. For museum permanent collection projects, see Responsive Grants.

Any American museum evincing a commitment to American art is eligible to apply for a grant. A prior letter of inquiry is required to ascertain the foundation’s interest. The letter should be no more than two pages including the basic facts about the exhibition, i.e., who, what, when, where, why and estimated cost. Inquiry letters may be submitted at any time, but must be received in hard copy (not electronically) no later than April 1st for possible acceptance to the annual summer review of approximately 20 proposals.

The annual deadline for receipt of selected proposals is June 1st. The foundation is assisted in its review of proposals by a panel of experts that includes art historians, curators, museum directors and art journalists.

Awards are announced in mid-November and the proposed exhibition cannot open before that time. The process can take up to eight months. Therefore, it is recommended to inquire at least 18 months in advance of an exhibition's opening date and with enough time to include recognition of any Luce Foundation support.

Museums outside of the United States may submit appropriate projects for consideration only if they have proof of valid non-profit status provided by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Proposals are not accepted from individuals.

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Grant Spotlight:
An interview with curator Sergio Bessa on the exhibition "Martin Wong: Human Instatmatic" at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.