Luce Foundation Announces $4.5 Million in New Grants

Dec. 1, 2020
Luce Foundation Announces $4.5 Million in New Grants
Sargent Claude Johnson, Screen , 1937, 105 x 264 x 2 in. (266.7 x 670.6 x 5.1 cm.), carved, gilded, and painted redwood. Purchased with funds from the Art Collectors’ Council, the Connie Perkins Endowment, and the Virginia Steele Scott Acquisition Fund for American Art in honor of George Abdo and Roy Ritchie. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The board of the Henry Luce Foundation convened virtually in November and approved $4.5 million in new grants to 14 institutions. Nine grants awarded through the American Art Program’s exhibition competition support the development, production, and tours of major loan exhibitions. The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, the Higher Education Program, the Initiative on Native American Intellectual Leadership, the Luce Scholars Program, and the Theology Program each awarded one responsive grant, all of which are described below.

These grants complement the $10.5 million in urgent needs grants awarded since the start of the pandemic. These awards have supported institutions, communities, and individuals heavily impacted by COVID-19 and the subsequent responses to it. The emergency funds have also supported on-going projects that seek to better understand current systemic challenges and contribute to forward-thinking solutions.

View the full list of new grants

American Art Loan Exhibition Grants

The projects chosen through this year’s loan exhibition competition demonstrate the American Art Program’s commitment to increasing support for and recognition of artists of color and women artists.

The Asian Art Museum will present the first major solo exhibition of Filipino American artist Carlos Villa. Three exhibitions will celebrate the achievements of African American artists: a retrospective co-organized by the Portland Museum of Art of works by painter, teacher, and curator David Driskell; a seminal presentation co-organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art of ceramic works by enslaved African American potters from Edgefield, South Carolina; and a career survey at the Huntington Library and Art Museum of sculptor Sargent Claude Johnson, a leading artist of the New Negro Movement. An exhibition at the Heard Museum will examine the minimalist paintings of Leon Polk Smith through the lens of his Cherokee identity.

The Hammer Museum will present the first major survey of works by Los Angeles artist Andrea Bowers, who engages with feminism, environmentalism, and immigration and labor rights. The Nasher Sculpture Center’s exhibition No Man’s Land will offer an overdue consideration of 12 women who were active in the emergence and growth of the Land Art Movement.

Overlooked aspects of American modernism will be explored both in the Crocker Art Museum's major survey of works by the mid-20th-century Transcendental Painting Group and in the Brandywine River Museum of Art's exploration of the botanical paintings of Italian-American modernist Joseph Stella.

View the new American Art grants

Responsive Grants

A Higher Education grant to Ewha Womans University will support the sixth and final year of Expanding Horizons: The Luce International Seminar for Women (ELIS). The program brings together women graduate students in STEM fields from the US and Asia to discuss gender, science, and leadership as they network and develop their personal, professional, and leadership skills.

The Luce Scholars Program awarded a grant to the Asia Foundation to provide renewed support for administering the fellowship program. Since its inception in 1974, the Luce Scholars Program has provided young Americans with the opportunity to live and work in Asia. The Asia Foundation manages Luce Scholar placements and supports Scholars in their placement countries during their year abroad.

A grant from the Luce Initiative on Native American Intellectual Leadership will provide First Nations Development Institute with the funds to administer the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows program for a third year.

The Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion in International Affairs made a grant to the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University to provide continued support for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD). Funds will allow the Network to strengthen the capacity of diplomats from Europe, the UK and North America to understand religious dynamics, to engage more effectively with religious actors in a range of contexts, and to engage a broader audience.

A Theology grant to the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University will help launch a new initiative that seeks to enhance public understanding of the history, theology, politics, and cultures of African American religions, exploring the diversity of traditions in Black religious life. The “Crossroads Project” will adopt a multidisciplinary approach as it establishes multi-institutional collaborations, supports early career scholars, and engages with the public through events and a new digital content platform.

American Art|Grants Announcement

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