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.
11 hours 31 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—In 1963 Melvin Edwards began Lynch Fragments, a series of welded steel assemblages made in response to the tumultuous social climate of the Civil Rights movement. The title of the series evokes the horrifying images of racist mob violence, yet Edwards’s works distill the subject into a powerful sculptural language, fusing modernist abstraction with a sense of personal and collective history.
Afrophoenix No. 1—one of the earliest objects from the series—exemplifies how the artist physically transformed found objects and brought them together in poetically suggestive, tension-filled compositions. Here the formal arrangement of steel elements evokes an equestrian bridle and bit. Chains, hammers, nails, spikes, and screws magnify the sculpture’s associative power, recalling implements of labor and torture. At the same the title references the mythological phoenix—alluding to death, rebirth, and transformation.
See Afrophoenix No. 1 (1963) by Melvin Edwards in Gallery 289D.
15 hours 57 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry
With their plush, inviting, and varied textures, the velvets featured in this exhibition showcase the diversity of modern velvet as well as the effects of industry on its production. As industrial innovations at the turn of the 19th century allowed for faster production and encouraged the use of less costly materials, designers and manufacturers of velvet sought to maintain its association with wealth, luxury, and splendor.
Learn how this elegant fabric has inspired designers for centuries, with a wide range of examples from the 19th century to present day—closing March 19.
1 day 2 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Just like the museum's collection comes from artists around the world, so does the Museum Shop’s assortment of products. We source exclusive products from artisans that are inspired by the cultures, mediums, and techniques represented in our museum collection. View our assortment of unique items from India.