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American Art Program - Exhibition Competition

Grants to USA Nonprofits for Loan Exhibitions
that Promote the Study of National Art

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Henry Luce Foundation

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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to support loan exhibitions of national art. Applicants are required to submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support scholarly exhibitions that significantly strengthen the understanding and study of national art, including all facets of Native American art.

Through an annual exhibition competition, the American Art Program offers significant support for ten or more loan exhibitions that exemplify the highest standards of scholarship and museum expertise in the field.

Program Guidelines:
Eligible projects may address any time period and/or medium, excepting performance art, film, and the work of emerging artists, and must result in substantial exhibitions and accompanying publications. Proposals will be judged on the aesthetic and historical merit of the art under consideration, as well as on the intellectual rigor and originality of the exhibition’s conceptual framework. Competitive projects will be concertedly focused on original art objects of distinct quality.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185442

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Typically, grants are made to U.S. not-for-profit organizations or their international equivalents.

- The program does not support projects that are primarily historical, documentary, social, or technological.
- 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.
- Exhibitions with substantial involvement of an artist's estate or commercial dealer cannot be considered.
- A single, privately-held collection 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.

General Guidelines:
- Grants are made only to institutions and cannot be made directly to individuals.
- The Foundation does not support healthcare, medical, disaster relief, or international development projects.
- The Foundation does not provide support to political parties or political campaigns, or for lobbying or other political activities.
- The Foundation does not contribute to annual funds, fundraising events, endowments, or building campaigns.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Calendar:
April 1st - Deadline for institutions to complete the letter of inquiry form through the online portal. Applicants will be informed of decisions by the end of April. Approximately 30 institutions will be invited to submit full proposals.
June 1st - Deadline for selected institutions to submit full proposals through the online portal
November - Awards are announced

Letters of Inquiry must be submitted online by the originating institution, rather than by a participating-venue institution. (Letters are not accepted from individuals.)

Proposals for loan exhibitions are considered once each year. Only one exhibition per year can be submitted per institution.

Note: Letters of inquiry will be acted upon within eight weeks of submission. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to the Program Director by email with any specific questions or concerns during the application process.

General Guidelines:

Program Overview:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions in advance of completing the Letter of Inquiry, applicants may e-mail them to Dr. Teresa A. Carbone, Program Director for American Art at

For help registering for the online portal or submitting an inquiry through the portal, contact the grants administrator at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming