2023-2024 TFAO financial assistance for exhibitions: funding strategy and preferences


(above: Charles Reiffel, Summer Session at Ballast Point, San Diego, 1930, Vallejo Gallery. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)


Funding strategy


-- prefer initiating seed or challenge grants to museums and cultural centers. Where practical, generating competitive behavior among prospective donors is a strategy we endorse and have found repetitively successful. Also, we find that being a seed donor -- either first donor or among a among a set of initial donors to a project -- creates momentum for grants from other sources. Other forms of exhibition support are also welcome.

-- also prefer that our grants be $2,000 to $10,000 per project and comprise around 10% to 20% of third party costs. Depending on circumstances, grants may be issued 100% up front or follow a phased schedule. For onsite/indoors exhibition projects, we 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.

-- employ qualitative impact analysis as well as quantitative cost/benefit analysis, modified for museum experiences and informed by available metrics.


Content preferences


From the early 21st century through the present time, thousands of American representational art exhibits have focused on human behavior. We sense that the ratio of exhibits devoted to modern iterations of virtues and vices has tilted towards exposition of vices.

During 2023 and 2024, we are:

- providing grants for exhibits aimed at rebalancing the ratio;

- will therefore focus on artistic expression based on virtues that lift peoples' spirits;

- looking for expression of virtuous behaviors such as kindness, empathy, gratitude, healing, humility, courage in battle, maternal and paternal love;

- are also amenable to exhibits featuring natural beauty through depictions of fauna, flora, and landscape.



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


"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


"Beauty is no material thing. Beauty cannot be copied. Beauty is the sensation of pleasure on the mind of the seer. No thing is beautiful. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at sight of them. This is beauty." 

"Beauty is an intangible thing; can not 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


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

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).


For examples of American representational art related to our preferences, please see:

Avian Art

Botanical Art

Domestic and Wildlife Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

Equine and Equestrian Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

Healing and Medicine Art

Landscape Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

Marine, Coastal and Maritime Art: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

Religious Art


Return to directions for letters of inquiry and further steps leading to project funding

Return to Financial Assistance Programs

*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:



Our catalogues:

American Representational Art links to dozens of topics in American Representational Art

Audio Online a catalogue of online streaming audio recordings

Collections of Historic American Art notable private collections

Distinguished Artists a national registry of historic artists

Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History a catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.

Illustrated Audio Online streaming online narrated slide shows

Articles and Essays Online substantive texts published outside of Resource Library

Videos Online a comprehensive catalogue of online full motion videos streamed free to viewers

Videos an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

Books general reference books published on paper

Interactive media media in CD-ROM format

Magazines paper-published magazines and journals

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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