CONF: Arts Patronage in Modern America (Oxford, 26-28 Jun 19)

Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, June 26 – 28, 2019

Arts Patronage in Modern America: An International Conference

Sponsored by: Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Terra Foundation for American Art, The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities, and the British Association for American Studies.

This interdisciplinary conference will feature papers by emerging and established scholars from around the world whose work deals with American arts patronage from the early twentieth century to the present day.

On Wednesday 26 June, from 15.00-16.30, John R. Blakinger, Terra Visiting Professor of American Art, University of Oxford, will deliver his plenary, ‘“To Remain Silent Is To Be Complicit”: Arts Funding in the Trump Era’.

On Thursday 27 June, from 15.00-16.30, Mary Anne Goley, Founding Director of the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board will deliver her plenary, ‘Playing By the Rules, How I Directed the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board, 1975 thru 2006’.

Both of the above plenaries are free and open to the public. Registration is via Eventbrite, short links above.

Panel presentations will be held at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, from 9.30-14.30 on Wednesday 26 June, from 9.15-14.30 on Thursday 27 June, and from 9.15-12.45 on Friday 28 June.

A special panel of distinguished expert practitioners will also weigh in on the current state of American cultural diplomacy.

The conference will close with a drinks reception and a three course dinner at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, starting at 19.00 on Friday 28 June.

If you plan to attend any of the panel presentations, including the practitioner panel, register via Eventbrite

If you also plan to attend the optional reception and dinner, register using the same link.

Vegan and gluten free dining options are available if ordered in advance; menu options will be communicated to attendees upon receipt of payment.

A limited number of Bed and Breakfast rooms are also available at St. Anne’s College. To reserve a single, en-suite room, visit and use the promotional code RAI29946. You should select the nights from 25th June until 28th June and then follow the instructions.

For the full list of panelists please see below.

For further information contact: Karen Patricia Heath and Amanda Niedfeldt or alternatively visit our website

Day ZERO: Tuesday 25 June 2019
17.30-18.30 Registration for Speakers, St. Anne’s Lodge

18.30 Informal Drinks for Panellists & Speakers, The Royal Oak

Day ONE: Wednesday 26 June 2019
9.00–9.30 Registration for Delegates

9.30-10.30 Panels

Towards Cultural Democracy?: Corporate Patronage and State-Sponsored Culture, from the New Deal to the Cold War Era, Garden Room

Isadora Helfgott, University of Wyoming
‘New Worlds to Conquer’: The Genesis of Corporate Patronage for Art in the United States

Jody Patterson, Plymouth University
“Point of Promise and of Danger”: American Art and Cultural Democracy at Mid-Century

New Perspectives on the Culture Wars: Budgetary Battles and AIDS Arts Activism in Reagan’s America, Seminar Room

Karen Patricia Heath, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
Reagan Revolution Rescinded: How the NEA Survived Supply-Side Economics in the 1980s

Jessica Wallace, Trinity College, University of Oxford
Obstructed Artistic Autonomy in Artistic AIDS Activism: A Microcosm of Federal Response to the Crisis

10.30-10.45  Tea & Coffee Break

10.45–12.15  Panels

Gamers, Gatekeepers, and Guidelines: Steering Federal Funding Toward Complex Ends, Garden Room

Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, University of Texas, Austin
Networking Legacies and Outcomes: the NEA, the NPN, and the Quest for Equitable Arts Support Systems

Sarah Wilbur, Duke University
Bureaucratic Angling, Institutional Activism: The NEA Dance Program’s Covert “Culture Wars”

Colleen Hooper, Point Park University
Among a Constellation of Arts Resources: The Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA) 1974-1982

Fundraising, Propaganda, and the Artistic Limitations of the Warfare State, Seminar Room

Austin Porter, Kenyon College
The War in Museums: the U.S. Treasury Department’s Art Exhibitions, 1942-45

M. Alison Reilly, Florida State University
Photography in the Service of America: The U.S. Government as Patron of the Arts at MoMA During World War II

Kelvin Parnell Jr., University of Virginia
Presidential Patronage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Selma Burke’s Four Freedoms

12.15–13.00 Lunch, including Tea & Coffee

13.00-14.30  Assessing Cultural Diplomacy Today: Views from Practitioners, Lecture Hall
Chaired by Amanda Niedfeldt, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Courtney Austrian, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, Embassy of the United States of America, London

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, UK-US Fulbright Commission

NB Chatham House Rule

14.30-15.00 Tea & Coffee Break

15.00-16.30 Plenary, Lecture Hall
Chaired by Amanda Niedfeldt, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

John R. Blakinger, Terra Visiting Professor of American Art, University of Oxford
“To Remain Silent is to be Complicit”: Arts Funding in the Trump Era

17.00 Informal Drinks, location tbc

19.00 Dinner for Panellists & Speakers, location tbc

Day TWO: Thursday 27 June 2019
9.15–10.15 Panels

Culture War/Cold War: Poetic Politics and Literary Funding at Home and Abroad, Garden Room

Lisa Szefel, Pacific University
The First Culture War: A Prize to Ezra Pound, Treason, and the Fight for Democracy

Amanda Niedfeldt, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Writing on the Wall: Public-Private Patronage and Writers in Berlin during the 1960s

Inside, Outside, and Beyond the Bureaucracy: Creative Expression, Artistic Need, and Democratic Principles in the Long Great Society Era, Seminar Room

Jamin An, University of California, Los Angeles
“A Shot in the Arm for the Arts”: Henry Geldzahler and the Beginnings of the NEA Visual Arts Program

James R. Swensen, Brigham Young University
‘A Most Vital Lifeblood’: The National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, and the Formation of a New Golden Age of Photography

10.15-10.30  Tea & Coffee Break

10.30-12.15 Panels

Founders, Funders, and Fiscal Crises: Private Philanthropy and Public Funding In and Around New York City, Garden Room

Pollyanna Rhee, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
Assimilation and Uplift?: Local Arts Patronage and the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Natalie A. Mault Mead, Hunter Museum of American Art
Money, You’ve Got Lots of Friends’: Patronage During the Harlem Renaissance

Christopher Ketcham, independent scholar
Speculations in Real Estate and Sculpture: Arts Patronage and Spatial Authority in New York City after John V. Lindsay

Pauline Chevalier, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris; Université de Bourgogne
Funding the Alternative: the NEA and New York Alternative Art Spaces (1969-1976)

From Conservative Beginnings to Progressive Ends and Back Again: The Promises and Pitfalls of Public/Private Collaborative Investments, Seminar Room

Charlotte Canning, University of Texas at Austin
HemisFair68, The Arts Patronage of Foreign Policy and Business

Derek Miller, Harvard University
The Shubert Foundation, or The IRS as Theatre Patron

Diana Benea, University of Bucharest
“Emphasizing Artistry without Sacrificing Business”: Ping Chong + Company’s Undesirable Elements Series (1992-) and the Challenges of Funding for Contemporary American Community-Based Theater

Kristin Leahey, Boston University
Four of the Many Signs of Change in the US Nonprofit Theatre – 2019

12.15-13.00 Lunch, including Tea & Coffee

13.00–14.30 Panels

Transmissions: Cultural Sponsorship, Cultural Diplomacy, and Cultural Criticisms, From, To, and Inside the USA, Garden Room

Matteo Pretelli, University of Naples “L ‘Orientale”
Olivetti, Cultural Sponsorship, and the United States

Isabel Lee-Rosson, Talley Dunn Gallery
Soft Power, International Funding, and Complexities of Contemporary Art from Lebanon ca 1970

Lorinda Roorda Bradley, University of Missouri-Columbia
An American Revolution: Information Exchange and Cultural Diplomacy in the Work of Charles and Ray Eames

Solving Old Budgetary Problems with New Fundraising Techniques: Crowdfunding in an Age of Culture War, Seminar Room

Hunter Kennedy, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Democratizing Arts Patronage: Crowdfunding as a Response to Institutional Funding Controversies

Jo Ann Oravec, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Crowdfunding, Philanthropy, and the Rhetoric of Public Support for the Arts: Democratization, Datafication, or Government Defunding?

Monica Steinberg, University of Hong Kong
Art Provoking Policy: Semiotic Disobedience and Conscientious Law-Breaking

14.30-15.00 Tea & Coffee Break

15.00-16.30 Plenary, Lecture Hall
Chaired by Karen Patricia Heath, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

Mary Anne Goley, Founding Director of the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board
Playing by the Rules, How I Directed the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board, 1975 thru 2006

17.00 Informal Drinks, location tbc

19.00 Dinner for Panellists & Speakers, location tbc

Day THREE: Friday 28 June 2019
9.15-10.45 Panels

Cities, Culture, and Cultural Capital: Experimentation, Transformation, and New Funding Models, Garden Room

Barbara Jaffee, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb
Timely Interventions: Government Patronage and Experimental Art in Chicago

Paola Francisquini, Annex B
Redefining Philanthropy: A Study on Cultural Capital, Activist Grant-Making and Disrupting the Narrative

Winter Phong, Texas Tech University
Municipal Arts and Culture Funding Models: A Look at Four American Cities

Depicting America and Americans: Murals and Memorials in the New Deal Era, Seminar Room

Abby Eron, University of Maryland
Private Patronage in the New Deal Era: The Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial

Ellen E. Adams, Frederik J. Meijer Honors College
Cultural Patronage in the New Deal: Georgette Seabrooke and the Harlem Hospital Murals

Emily S. Warner, University College London
Picturing the Public: Patronage and Style in New Deal Murals

10.45-11.15 Tea & Coffee Break

11.15-12.45 Panels

Donors and Donations in the 21st Century: Private/Public Partnerships in the Gallery and the Museum, Garden Room

Mary Lee Corlett, National Gallery of Art
Full Circle: The Private/Public Partnership of The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States Project

Wiebke Kartheus, University of Göttingen
Facilities That Carry Your Name: How Art Museum Architecture Reflects Patrons’ Influence on Culture: Notes from the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Pérez Art Museum

Rethinking Cold War Cultural Diplomacy: Matronage, Patronage, and Public/Private Cooperations, Seminar Room

Camelia Lenart, University at Albany
The Tale of Two Eleanors and Cold War Arts’ Patronage: Martha Graham’s Collaboration with Eleanor Roosevelt and Eleanor Lansing Dulles in the Making of American Cultural  Diplomacy

Carla Konta, University of Rijeka
Those ‘who fight for new ideas’: American Art in Socialist Yugoslavia and the role of US Public Diplomats

Diana Stelowska-Morgulec, University of Warsaw
American Arts Diplomacy towards Poland: Does it still exist?

12.45–13.30 Lunch, including Tea & Coffee

14.00–16.30 Excursion for Panellists & Speakers,
Activities at the Ashmolean Museum or the Oxford Playhouse

19.00 Drinks Reception St. Anne’s College (for speakers, panellists, and registered delegates)

19.30 Closing Dinner St. Anne’s College (for speakers, panellists, and registered delegates)