Traditional Fine Arts Organization

Indoors and/or virtual exhibition co-sponsorships

 

We:

- are interested in co-sponsorship grants to select museums and cultural centers throughout the United States planning American representational art special/temporary exhibitions, either online and/or indoors, featuring artworks based on our topics. Of special interest are monographs or retrospectives featuring an artist's representational artworks. Also of interest are touring exhibits and online-only permanent exhibits.
 
- favor grants to institutions whose policy is to post as many details as possible concerning future, current and past exhibitions in the exhibitions section of their websites. If an institution has not yet added necessary information about an exhibition at the time of its posting of an upcoming exhibit, yet is committed to add such material when the future exhibition becomes current and retains it when the exhibition is transferred to the past exhibitions section of its website, we will take that into consideration.
 
- encourage institutions to make online catalogs available to the public without charge, while paper printed copies remain monetized, one reason being that "coffee table" catalogs appeal to an audience largely separate from viewers of online versions: mainly students and teachers. A Survey of Online Exhibition Catalogues, Brochures, Gallery Guides and Related Materials contains examples freely available to the public. These institutions decided that freely available online brochures and catalogs - optionally locked out for download or content copying - broadly serve the global public, aren't materially detrimental to their net operating income and serve to further their mission statement education component.
 
- are amenable to co-sponsoring or fully sponsoring single out of pocket line items such as paper-printed brochures, online catalogs or outdoors banners with prominent placement of artworks specific to an exhibition.
 
- are accepting applications for exhibits opening during 2024 and through mid-2025.
 
- welcome your letter of inquiry aligned with our grant preferences, followed by further steps leading to funding.
 
- currently have no deadline for submission of further steps materials.

 

General observations

 

Some institutions believe that well-crafted online exhibit materials will deter people from onsite visitation. We believe the opposite is true.

Thanks to the convenience and ever-increasing quality (e.g. close-ups, 360 degree rotation) of product presentation in online shopping, many brick and mortar stores have taken a beating. This behavior may spill over into other types of physical presence. Gen Z and Millennial cohorts, when compared to older groups, may favor seeking knowledge online before considering physical visitation. If an institution's mission statement includes education covering all age groups, attention needs to be paid to preferences of all age groups.

During the 2020 pandemic, virtual tours became a popular tool to emulate physical presence when institutions were closed. We find that virtual tours based on photographs of gallery room walls and spaces are useful to gain a broad sense of the overall onsite presentation. One among several ways they fall short, however, is attention to close-up artwork details and clarity of descriptive texts.  Typically, when a viewer magnifies a virtual tour hotspot, the final level of magnification doesn't show texts in a useful way. Similarly, maximum magnification usually doesn't usually allow a viewer to see important artwork details. For those museums that allow up-close virtual artwork views, more intimate than allowed onsite, there is heightened value. Of course, there are copyright and illicit reproduction issues to be dealt with. Some institutions deter downloading images to help mitigate theft of intellectual property.

In recent years it has become increasingly difficult for university students to justify a major or minor in art history from an economic point of view. Since familiarity with the liberal arts is beneficial for a well-rounded education, we advocate for institutions to provide an online, in-depth, resource which may be accessed at leisure during an individual's lifetime.

The de Young Museum in San Francisco has held Bouquets to Art for 39 years. The exhibit pairs floral designs with artworks, allowing visitors to engage with the museum's collections "in new ways." Minneapolis Institute of Art has Art in Bloom. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston holds a similarly named event. Besides advancing artistic synergy, the combination of botanical design and art attracts visitors which may not otherwise experience an institution's artworks. We are amenable to contributing to exhibits that feature this combination in concert with our other content preferences as long as the botanical element extends in time beyond special event status.

 

Relevant quotes

 

"There is no greater purpose for art than to move you, to elevate your mood, to make you think, to remind you of places you have been or places you want to build. It does everything - nourishes the soul and lifts the spirits of the people." -Adriana Trigiani

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude." -Friedrich Nietzsche

To my mind a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful and pretty. There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is, without creating still more of them" -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

"Beauty is an intangible thing; cannot be fixed on the surface, and the wear and tear of old age on the body cannot defeat it. Nor will a "pretty" face make it, for "pretty" faces are often dull and empty, and beauty is never dull and it fills all spaces." -Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all." -Ray Bradbury, preface to Zen in the Art of Writing (1990).

"We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy, and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all." -Dorothy Day

"Beauty will save the world." -Dostoevsky

 

Other grants

 

Grants for evening outdoor projection exhibits and outdoor murals are also of interest to us.

 

A note on Internet content

By 2023, the aggregate body of information contained online in our Free Online Digital Library, plus the amount of additional information on the websites of other sources accessed by links provided by us, had reached nearly a level of critical mass for many users. The curious mind, whether student or member of the public, was able to self-generate via combination keyword searches through the contents of our digital library the equivalent of thousands of special exhibition brochures and catalogues. Persons with more in-depth needs will be still reliant on deeper research. A reason for using the word "nearly" is that events of, and artists active in, the first decades of the 21st century are usually exceptions to the rule. The knowledge components of future special exhibitions focused on artistic activity from pre-colonial times through the early decades of the 20th century are largely already available to our website visitors and from other websites via combination keyword searches.

The rise of large language models, containing data scraped form websites, provides yet another vehicle for students and the general public to summarize knowledge on a plethora of subjects including American representational art.

Many future exhibitions will continue to focus on aspects of the careers of popular deceased first tier artists. We define first tier artists as those artists whose works sell at auction for over $275,000 in 2024 dollars. Often extensive biographical information on these artists, as well as less popular artists, is alternately available via our America's Distinguished Artists catalogue. For topical exhibitions the same idea holds true. Popular topics -- such as California Art History -- will usually be covered via our Topics in American Art catalogue and mixed with biographical and/or other topical information. Many other future exhibitions will be based on works in a museum's collection, due in no small part to financial considerations.

Partially informed by our content accretion to date, grants for special exhibitions will largely be limited to second tier artists featured in museum exhibitions -- active or deceased and not well covered in America's Distinguished Artists -- plus alignment with our topics.

 

Return to Financial Assistance Programs

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

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