Terra Foundation Awards $3.6 Million to Digitize Smithsonian's American Art Resources

Terra Foundation Awards $3.6 Million to Digitize Smithsonian's American Art Resources

The Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C., has announced a $3.6 million grant from the Chicago-based Terra Foundation for American Art to support its efforts to digitize nearly 1,200 linear feet of primary sources relating to artists from the eighteenth century to the present.

The five-year grant will enable the Archives of American Art to offer free online access to more than 1.6 million photographs, sketchbooks, ledgers, diaries, and letters associated with such artists as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Louise Nevelson, Jackson Pollock, and Grant Wood. The searchable Web site will be hosted by the archive, which will also offer access to visual materials in its digital collections database and online exhibitions, oral-history transcripts, and topical guides.

"Last year, the Terra Foundation's board of trustees voted to devote greater resources to the support of the foundation's fundamental mission, which is to foster a broad appreciation and understanding of the art of the United States," said foundation president and CEO Elizabeth Glassman. "The Terra Foundation grant to the Archives of American Art has the potential to revolutionize research in American art, creating free and open access to important documents, not just for the academy but also for schools, libraries, and homes, from St. Louis to Shanghai."