Terra Foundation brings Scholars of First Nations Art to Sydney

A new program made possible by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, will allow leading scholars of First Nations art in North America to teach, collaborate, and conduct research in Sydney.

The Power Institute for Art and Visual Culture and the Department of Art History at the University of Sydney will partner with the Terra Foundation for American Art in the three-year partnership: The Terra Foundation Visiting Professorship in First Nations American Art.

“This exciting new post will advance the University of Sydney’s ambitious approach to a truly global history of art by reinforcing and deepening dialogue between scholarship on Indigenous art and culture of the North American continent and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies in Australia,” said Professor Annamarie Jagose, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

The grant will support three 10-month-long Terra Foundation Visiting Professorships in First Nations American Art and an associated program of research at the University of Sydney.

Starting next year, the program will introduce First Nations Art of the North American continent to Australian students and initiate research on connections between Australian, Asia-Pacific, and North American art histories. The Visiting Professor will teach undergraduate and graduate students, lecture at various off-campus institutions, and organise a public conference or symposium.

“Terra Foundation visiting professorships exist in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan but this is the first Terra Foundation visiting professorship in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Terra Foundation Executive Vice President Amy Zinck.

“It will also be the first Terra Foundation professorship dedicated to exploring questions that are vital to the understanding and recognition of First Nations Art in North America and worldwide”

“At the University of Sydney, and particularly in the Department of Art History, we have over the past decade emphasised both the multiplicity and the connectedness of cultures, and begun to teach a globally aware , diverse history of art,” said Dr Catriona Moore, current Chair of the Department of Art History.

“A visiting professorship in First Nations art of North America will not only further understanding of an underrepresented art form in Australia but lead to new and exciting cross-continental explorations in teaching and research, and establish a positive relationship between innovative scholars across the Pacific.”

“We will seek a leading expert on First Nations Art in North America to complement and deepen our strengths in Indigenous Australian art and activate our rich museum collections of arts of the Pacific, and help us engage further in the very vibrant and salient debates about art, sovereignty, and the complex visual cultures of Indigenous peoples worldwide,” said Professor Mark Ledbury, Director of the Power Institute.

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