American Art in Exhibition: Presentations of American Art at Home and Abroad from the 19th Century to the Present

Grants and Contracts Details


The conference is being co-organized by Anna Brzyski, University of Kentucky and Anying Chen, School of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University. It will be funded through a grant from the Terra Foundation, administered by University of Kentucky. The conference addresses the idea of 'national art,' its definition and changing understanding, a subject of great interest and relevance in China, from the perspective of American Art. The goal of the conference is to bring to light new research on seminal exhibitions and presentation of American Art, which have played a pivotal role in shaping an evolving historic understanding of what American Art is at home and abroad. The conference papers could address specific presentations of American Art abroad, from the exhibitions of the American School at the 19th century World’s Fairs to the 20th century exhibitions of American Expressionism and Pop Art, to more recent presentations of American Art and artists, such as the exhibition Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, which took place in Beijing and Shanghai in 2007. In addition to specific exhibitions abroad, we are also interested in the museological presentations of American Art at home, in particular installations and reinstallation of American Art collections at major American museums, and challenges posed by such projects. Within this broadly defined context, we are going to focus on two main issues: the impact of temporary exhibitions of American Art staged by American curators and organizers on external perception and understanding of American Art and culture, and the impact of permanent museological presentations of American Art on the domestic understanding and perception of American Art, both among the museum going public and scholars of American Art. In the latter case, we are especially interested in the impact of multiculturalism, globalism, and changing demographics on the narrative(s) of American Art and culture presented at such American institutions as National Art Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The conference has three primary goals: to provide Chinese art historians and art history students an opportunity to learn about American art from a group of world-class American Art scholars, to promote dialogue, exchange and networking among Americana art historians and curators and their Chinese counterparts, and to showcase and encourage new innovative research on American Art. With those goals in mind, in addition to formal paper presentations, there will be numerous opportunities for less formal conversations and a round table discussion of the issues raised by the conference. The conference proceedings will be published in a bilingual form in a special issue of the journal Tsinghua Arts. We will also explore a possibility of publishing the paper as an anthology with on of the American academic publishers at a later date.
Effective start/end date8/1/132/27/15


  • Terra Foundation for American Art: $58,152.00


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