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Exhibition Competition

The Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program supports scholarly loan exhibitions that significantly advance the study and understanding of art of the United States, including all facets of Native American art.

Proposals for loan exhibitions are considered once each year, and grants are awarded on a competitive basis. An external panel of advisors, including academic art historians, curators, and art journalists, participates in the final stages of the competition, reviewing all of the proposals. Recently funded exhibitions can be found here.

Please read the information provided below before applying through our online portal.

Application Calendar

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

Eligibility Requirements and Restrictions

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.

  • Letters of Inquiry must be submitted online by the originating institution, rather than by a participating-venue institution. (Letters are not accepted from individuals.)
  • 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.
  • Only one exhibition per year can be submitted per institution.

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

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