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Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize

View the complete list of prize winners

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 $3,000 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.

The next prize will be awarded in 2017. Questions or comments may be emailed to

For more information on American Art, please consult For details on the Terra Foundation for American Art, please visit

Terra International Essay Prize Recipients

2015: Hadrien Viraben, "Achille Segard Interviews Mary Cassatt: A Living Master of Impressionism, Her Biographer, and the General Audience," Forthcoming.

2014: John Fagg, "Bedpans and Gibson Girls: Clutter and Matter in John Sloan’s Graphic Art," Forthcoming—Fall 2015 (vol. 29, no.3).

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

2012: Sophie Cras, "Art as 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, "Unseen Canvases: Italian Painters and Fascist Myths across the American Scene," Spring 2011 (vol. 25, no. 1): 52–73.