Essay Contest Seeks Entries on American Art

Deadline: 15 January 2013
Open to: non-U.S. scholars in the field of historical American art.
Prize: publication in American Art journal, $1,000 cash plus a $2,000 travel stipend to give a presentation in Washington, D.C.


The Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize recognizes excellent scholarship by a non-U.S. scholar in the field of historical American art. Manuscripts should advance understanding of American art, demonstrating new findings and original perspectives.

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 are eligible to participate in the competition.

Essays may focus on any aspect of historical American art and visual culture (pre-1980). Preference will be given to studies 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. Manuscripts previously published in a foreign language are eligible if released within the last two years (please state the date and venue of the previous publication). For scholars from English-language countries, only unpublished manuscripts will be considered. Authors are invited to submit their own work for consideration. We also urge scholars who know of eligible articles written by others to inform those authors of the prize.


The prize-winning essay will be translated and published in American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s scholarly journal. The Terra Foundation is offering an increased and enhanced prize this year: the winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a $2,000 travel stipend 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 length of the essay (including endnotes) shall not exceed 8,500 words with approximately 12 to 14 illustrations.

Submissions must be sent to [email protected] by January 15, 2013. The text of the essay should be submitted by e-mail as a Word file, accompanied by a PDF file containing all of the illustrations. A curriculum vitae should be included. Manuscripts submitted in foreign languages should be accompanied by a detailed abstract in English.

Questions or comments may be addressed [email protected].

For more information on American Art journal, see the publication’s website HERE. For details on the Terra Foundation for American Art, visit their website HERE.

The original call for submissions is available HERE.

You may find more information about winners of this contest from previous years under the following links:

  • 2012: Sophie Cras, “Art as Investment and ‘Artistic Shareholding’ Experiments in the 1960s” (forthcoming)
  • 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.

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