Chrysler Museum of Art to Receive $200,000 Grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and $65,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
NORFOLK, Va. (Jan. 15, 2020) — The Chrysler Museum of Art has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and has been approved for a $65,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Both will support the upcoming exhibition Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful. Scheduled to open in July 2021, the traveling show is co-organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art and The Columbus Museum in Georgia and includes stops at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and The Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tenn. before closing at The Columbus Museum in 2022.
The exhibition will provide a comprehensive overview of Thomas’ long life (1891–1978) with approximately 100 works, including her rarely seen theatrical designs and beloved abstract paintings. It will track her artistic journey from semi-rural Georgia to international recognition, demonstrating how her artistic practices extended to every facet of her life — from community service and teaching to gardening and dress.
“The Chrysler Museum is excited to partner with The Columbus Museum to bring the story of this groundbreaking artist to audiences across the country. The Columbus Museum’s rich collection of Thomas’ work allows for the opportunity to present an unprecedented, comprehensive look at her accomplishments,” said Chrysler Museum Director Erik Neil. “This show will uncover little known and rarely exhibited works to ensure unique discoveries, even for those who are familiar with Thomas’ creativity. A richly illustrated catalog co-published by Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition and offer new insights into Thomas’ life. We are fortunate and honored to be supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts in this endeavor.”
The exhibition will be organized around multiple themes from Thomas’ experience. These themes include the context of her Washington Color School cohort, the creative communities connected to Howard University and peers who protested museums that failed to represent artists of color. Diverse artworks and archival materials will reveal the artist’s complex and deliberate artistic existence before, during and after the years of her “mature” output and career-making solo show at the Whitney Museum in 1972.
With the addition of Resurrection to the White House Collection in 2015; acquisitions by notable public institutions, including Crystal Bridges Museum and MoMA; and a two-venue exhibition at the Tang Museum and The Studio Museum in Harlem in 2016, the time is right to reconsider Thomas’ life and legacy.
Americans in Spain: Painting and Travel, 1820–1920, a Chrysler-curated exhibition co-organized with the Milwaukee Art Museum, has also received support from the Henry Luce Foundation and will open at the Chrysler in February 2021.
The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders and fostering international understanding. The Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art and public policy.
A leader in arts funding in the United States, the American Art Program was established in 1982 to support museums, universities and arts organizations in their efforts to advance the understanding and experience of American and Native American visual arts through research, exhibitions, publications and collection projects.
Overall, the National Endowment for the Arts has approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects in every state in the nation, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The Art Works funding category supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence; learning in the arts at all stages of life and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life.
ABOUT THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART
The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. The Museum has growing collections in many areas and mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs each season. The Chrysler has also been recognized nationally for its unique commitment to hospitality with its innovative gallery host program.
The Perry Glass Studio is a state-of-art facility on the Museum’s campus. The studio offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking and neon. The studio has also cultivated a reputation for its cutting-edge performance evenings, and was the host venue of the 2017 Glass Arts Society Conference.
In addition, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers two historic houses in downtown Norfolk: the Moses Myers House and the Willoughby-Baylor House, as well as the Jean Outland Chrysler Library on the campus of Old Dominion University. General admission is free at all venues. For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, visit chrysler.org.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS MUSEUM
The Columbus Museum brings American art and regional history to life, with more than 10,000 objects in its permanent collection and several award-winning exhibitions a year. As one of the largest museums in the southeastern United States, the Museum is central to life in the region as a hub of community learning and enjoyment. Through an educational approach, the Museum strives to ignite creativity, inspire critical thinking, and spark conversation. For more information, visit columbusmuseum.com.
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