The American Art Program supports scholarly loan exhibitions that contribute significantly to the study and understanding of art of the United States, including all facets of Native American art. The loan exhibition grants advance the Program’s efforts to empower art museums to reconsider accepted histories, foreground the voices and experiences of underrepresented artists and cultures, and welcome diverse collaborators and communities into dialogue.
Proposals for loan exhibitions are considered in a single cycle each year. The entrants are judged as a pool over the course of three stages of review. An external panel of advisors, including academic art historians and curators, participates in the advanced stages of the competition. Winning proposals are distinguished by the cultural significance of the art, and the intellectual rigor and originality of the exhibition’s conceptual framework. Institutional capacity and feasibility of project plans are also considered. See recently funded exhibitions.
April 28: Deadline for institutions to submit an exhibition Concept Note through the online portal. Approximately 30 institutions will be invited to submit full proposals. (Applicants will be informed of first-round decisions by May 17.)
June 30: Deadline for selected institutions to submit full proposals through the online portal. (Applicants eliminated in the second round will be notified by July 17.)
September 22: Notification of applicants eliminated in final round.
November 13: Awards approved by the Foundation’s board are announced.
Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions
Eligible projects may address any time period and/or medium, with the exceptions of performance art, film, and the work of emerging artists. The projects must result in substantial exhibitions and preferably have accompanying publications. Proposals will be judged on the cultural significance of the art under consideration, as well as on the intellectual rigor and originality of the exhibition’s conceptual framework.
Should you have questions in advance of completing the concept note, you may e-mail them to Dr. Teresa A. Carbone, Program Director for American Art at email@example.com.
- Concept Notes must be submitted online by the originating institution and not by a participating-venue institution. (Letters are not accepted from individuals.)
- Art of the United States, including Native American art, should constitute significantly more than half of the checklist.
- The organizing institution’s permanent collection should not constitute more than half of the exhibition checklist.
- A single, privately held collection should constitute no more than half of the exhibition checklist.
- The holdings of a single commercial dealer should constitute no more than half of the exhibition checklist.
- The proposed exhibition should not open within the calendar year of the annual exhibition review to which it has been submitted, or before March of the following year.
- 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.
- Only one exhibition per year can be submitted per institution.
Through its Responsive Grants, the American Art Program seeks to support a wide range of collection-based projects that advance the understanding and presentation of art of the United States. Eligible collection areas include paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, decorative arts, naïve and outsider art, traditional and studio crafts, architecture, design, and all aspects of Native American arts.
Prospective grantees are encouraged to consider the reinvigoration of collections, for new and established audiences, as a primary goal. Successful applicants will initiate or apply new research and/or fresh approaches to collection-focused documentation, publications, reinterpretation, reinstallations, and in-house or touring exhibitions. They are encouraged to consider digitization projects in tandem with efforts to place works of art on view.
Each year the Foundation will support a number of substantial, carefully crafted projects that propose in-depth and multi-layered approaches to the study and exhibition of discrete areas of permanent collections. Applicants are encouraged to consider working with exceptional or challenging collection areas that have been under-utilized. One recent example was a three-year grant to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, for a Whistler Watercolor Initiative that includes a collection-based exhibition, distinct print and on-line catalogues, a post-doctoral curatorial position, an object study workshop for emerging experts in the field, and summer internships for museum diversity.
The American Art Program seeks to support curatorial training and opportunities in the form of term positions linked to Responsive grant projects. Apprentice-level positions should involve continuous mentorship by more senior curators associated with the proposed work.
Each year the Program will also fund several projects located entirely in museum or collection archives.
Although independent conservation projects are funded only rarely, conservation components can be included in proposals for collections-based projects.
Projects ineligible for funding by the American Art Program include those that deal exclusively with film, performance art, or the work of emerging artists. The Program does not fund the creation of works of art, the purchase of works of art, the production of documentary films about American art, or projects in the performing arts.
Concept notes can be submitted at any time through our online portal. Should you have questions in advance of completing the concept note, you may e-mail them to Dr. Teresa A. Carbone, Program Director for American Art at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for Individuals
Support for scholarly training in Art History is offered through the annual awarding of dissertation fellowships to doctoral candidates at colleges and universities in the United States. Administered by the American Council of Learned Societies on behalf of the Luce Foundation, the program provides stipends as well as travel and research funds.
Graduate students in any stage of Ph.D. dissertation research or writing on a topic in the history of the visual arts of the United States are eligible to apply. Although the topic may be historically and/or theoretically grounded, attention to the art object and/or image should be foremost.
Full eligibility guidelines and application requirements can be found on the ACLS website.