Press Release

Art Dealers Association of America Foundation Announces Museum Recipients of Annual Grant Program

New York, NY
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Knoxville Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian to Receive Support for Upcoming Exhibitions

The Art Dealers Association of America Foundation (ADAA Foundation) announced today the recipients of its 2018 grants, which are awarded annually to museums around the country: Knoxville Museum of Art (Knoxville, TN), Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College (Chicago, IL), Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (Hagerstown, MD), and Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (Santa Fe, NM). Each museum grantee represents a different region of the United States, and their exhibitions were selected based on their contributions to art historical scholarship – offering new insights on various artists, genres, and historical periods.   

Established in 1970, the ADAA Foundation is a distinct but related entity of the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), a nonprofit membership organization of leading art dealers across the country. Generously funded by donations from ADAA member galleries for five decades, the Foundation promotes the appreciation of art and art history through its support of vital scholarship and curatorial research.

“Through the donations of ADAA member galleries, the ADAA Foundation grant program is representative of the galleries' commitment to the arts community at large,” said Dorsey Waxter, President of the ADAA Foundation and a former president of the ADAA. “We were very impressed with the range and quality of the applications we received for 2018, and particularly the ways that museums are seeking to explore artists and themes that are both historically and culturally resonant for their audiences. Each of the selected exhibitions successfully broadens the art historical canon in some way.” 

Selected by the ADAA Foundation board, which is comprised of ADAA galleries, the four new grantees presented proposals for exhibitions of a diverse nature, touching on issues such as global migration, cultural identity, and race, and expanding the narrative of art history by featuring lesser-known or under-represented artists. Art museums with annual operating budgets under five million dollars were invited to apply for grants of $10,000 to $15,000 to advance the development of new exhibitions and research. The Foundation limits the pool of applicants in this way to ensure that grants have a significant impact on institutions where funds for exhibition development and research are often more difficult to obtain.

The four exhibitions selected for the 2018 ADAA Foundation grants are:

Stateless: Views of Global Migration

January 24, 2019 through March 31, 2019

Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (MoCP), Chicago, IL

Stateless: Views of Global Migration will explore themes such as beauty and strength, witnessing and memory, collective trauma, death, and connectivity to a place. Through the lens of eight contemporary artists whose work stretches the globe, Stateless aims to humanize the stark data on refugees and displaced people, providing an alternative image to the visual landscape of migration. In conjunction with the exhibition, the MoCP will offer a range of educational and public programming activities with both local and international partners. Among these collaborations is a panel conversation and workshop with representatives from the Berlin based Transatlantic Refugee Resettlement Network (TRRN) and the Chicago based humanitarian organization Heartland Alliance. Select artists from the exhibition will join guests from both organizations to discuss the ongoing refugee crisis and how art can integrate with activism as both a means to raise awareness and instigate change.

Humor and Satire in Native American Arts, 1930 to the Present

Opening November 2019

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, NM

Humor and Satire in Native American Arts, 1930 to the Present will include paintings, drawings, sculpture, and other items from the 1880s to the present, in which Native artists have parodied non-Native individuals, appropriated non-Native historical figures to poke fun at both Native and non-Native culture, and put a humorous spin on current challenges faced by Native peoples and communities. This exhibition will explore how Native artists have used humor to bring about laughter and healing through this unique means of visual expression, providing a new perspective on Indigenous people and their cultures.

Beauford Delaney: Through the Unusual Door

February 7 through May 10, 2020

Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA), Knoxville, TN

Featuring over 40 paintings, works on paper, photographs, and letters, the exhibition will examine the 35-year relationship between painter Beauford Delaney and writer James Baldwin and the ways their ongoing intellectual exchange shaped one another’s creative output and worldview. The exhibition’s title comes from a passage in Baldwin’s volume of collected essays The Price of the Ticket (1985) describing the author’s reaction to his initial encounter with Delaney at the artist’s Greenwich Village studio. This encounter set the tone of the painter’s role in the author’s life as a father figure who empowered him to see beyond the boundaries of race, nationality, politics, and sexual identity. Baldwin, in turn, inspired Delaney with his fearless social conscience and commitment to Civil Rights causes. Through the Unusual Door aims to break new ground in research and scholarship of the artist.

Joshua Johnson: Portraitist of Early American Baltimore

July 11 through October 25, 2020

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, MD

Through some eighteen paintings by the artist and his contemporaries, Joshua Johnson aims to historically and culturally contextualize the remarkable success of the portraitist, a freed slave who is considered the first professional African American artist and was described as a “self-taught genius” in his day. His attention to detail and extensive inclusion of moths, fruit, and flowers indicate that despite not having formal training, the artist carefully absorbed many techniques and motifs from traditional European portraiture. Johnson painted affluent patrons in his native Baltimore, overcoming many racial and social hurdles in early American society, among the many themes the exhibition will explore in relation to Johnson’s life and work. 

Since its inception, the ADAA Foundation has distributed grants to museums, archives, and arts organizations across the country. In 2017, grants were awarded to the Frances Lehman Loeb Center at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY) for Past Time: Geology in European and American Art, currently on view through December 9, 2018; the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT) for The Domestic Plane, a series of five curatorial projects, on view through January 13, 2019; and for the forthcoming exhibitions Through a Glass, Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory College (Atlanta, GA); and Stuart Davis and the Modernist Mural: Swing Landscape in Context at Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). 

About the ADAA Foundation

The ADAA Foundation, a distinct but connected entity to the ADAA, was established in 1970 to encourage and promote the appreciation of art and art history through its support of vital scholarship and curatorial research. Generously funded by donations from ADAA member galleries, the Foundation has distributed grants to museums, archives, and arts organizations around the country to advance art historical research and exhibition development.

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