Collections > The Art Institute of Chicago and the Terra Foundation for American Art
The Art Institute of Chicago and the Terra Foundation for American Art
The galleries of American Art present a continuous display of artistic achievement in painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the colonial era through 1950, enriched by the collaboration between the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Terra Foundation has lent the Art Institute approximately 50 paintings and 350 works on paper, which are on view here in the Rice Building and by appointment in the Department of Prints and Drawings.
The Terra Foundation for American Art was established in 1978 by businessman and art collector Daniel J. Terra (1911–1996), who believed that the art of the United States is a dynamic and powerful expression of the nation’s history and identity. During his lifetime, Terra shaped the foundation and its growing collection of art, and he opened the Terra Museum of American Art (1980–2004) to display his holdings and host traveling exhibitions. For his efforts in promoting American art and culture, Terra was appointed Ambassador at Large for Cultural Affairs (1982–88), a position created for him by President Ronald Reagan. From 1992 through 2008, the Terra Foundation operated the Musée d’Art Américain Giverny, which exhibited the work of a wide range of American artists and covered numerous topics with a transatlantic focus.
Today the Terra Foundation is one of the leading organizations in the world dedicated to supporting American art. The foundation’s center in Paris, the Terra Foundation for American Art Europe, encourages the study of American art by European audiences and builds on the successes of the Musée d’Art Américain Giverny. For over 30 years, the foundation has both created and funded exhibitions, fellowships, publications, and symposia. At the core of all Terra Foundation activities is the fundamental belief in the value of art to distinguish and unite cultures. At the Art Institute, the Terra Foundation for American Art is pleased to add works from its collection to an already outstanding display in an effort to highlight the importance of experiencing original works of art.
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In this landmark collaboration, two major figures in American art and literature aimed to make the black experience visible in postwar America.
Image: Gordon Parks. Off On My Own, Harlem, New York, 1948. The Gordon Parks Foundation.
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