Terra International Essay Prize

The Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize recognizes excellent scholarship by a non-U.S. citizen working in the field of historical American art.

Manuscripts should advance the understanding of American art, demonstrating new findings and original perspectives. The prize winner will be given the opportunity to work toward publication in American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s scholarly journal. The winner will also receive a $1,000 cash award and a travel stipend of up to $3,500 to give a presentation in Washington, D.C., and meet with museum staff and fellows. This prize is supported by funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

The aim of the award is to stimulate and actively support non-U.S. scholars working on American art topics, foster the international exchange of new ideas, and create a broad, culturally comparative dialogue on American art. Ph.D. candidates and above (or equivalent) who have not published in the journal American Art previously are eligible to participate in the competition. Essays may focus on any aspect of historical (pre-1980) American art and visual culture; however, architecture and film studies are not eligible. Preference will be given to submissions that address American art within a cross-cultural context and offer new ways of thinking about the material. A strong emphasis on visual analysis is encouraged.

Manuscripts previously published in a foreign language are eligible if released within the last two years (please state the date and venue of the prior publication). Essays that have been published in English will not be considered. Authors are invited to submit their own work for consideration; however, former applicants must submit on a new topic if they wish to be considered again. We also urge scholars who know of eligible articles written by others to inform those authors of the prize.

The length of the essay (including endnotes) should be between 7,000 and 8,500 words and should include approximately 12 to 14 illustrations with figure references in the text. The essay should be submitted by e-mail as a Word file and should include a bibliography of key sources. A PDF file containing all of the illustrations, along with captions that provide each object’s title, artist, date, medium, dimensions, and current location, is also required. All manuscripts should be accompanied by an abstract of 500 to 1,000 words written in English that: 1) clearly states the author’s thesis and the essay’s contribution to the field of American art, and 2) outlines the essay’s basic structure and methodology. A curriculum vitae should be included as well.

Submissions must be sent to TerraEssayPrize@si.edu by January 15, 2019. Questions or comments may be emailed to the same address.

For more information on American Art, please consult American Art Journal. For details on the Terra Foundation for American Art, please visit terraamericanart.org.


Terra International Essay Prize Recipients

2017: Susanneh Bieber, “Going Back to Kansas City: The Origins of Judd’s Minimal Art,” Forthcoming

2015: Hadrien Viraben, “Constructing a Reputation: Achille Segard's 1913 Biography of Mary Cassatt,” Spring 2017 (vol. 31, no. 1).

2014: John Fagg, “Chamber Pots and Gibson Girls: Clutter and Matter in John Sloan's Graphic Art,” Fall 2015 (vol. 29, no. 3): 28-57.

2013: Edyta Frelik, “Ad Reinhardt: Painter-as-Writer,” Fall 2014 (vol. 28, no. 3): 104-25.

2012: Sophie Cras, “Art as an Investment and Artistic Shareholding Experiments in the 1960s,” Spring 2013 (vol. 27, no. 1): 2-23.

2011: Alex J. Taylor, “Unstable Motives: Propaganda, Politics and the Late Work of Alexander Calder,” Spring 2012 (vol. 26, no. 1): 24–47.

2010: Sergio Cortesini, “Invisible Canvases: Italian Painters and Fascist Myths across the American Scene,” Spring 2011 (vol. 25, no. 1): 52–73.