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Entries : Terra Museum of American Art
Terra Museum of American Art

Terra Museum of American Art

As late as the mid-1970s, there was no museum devoted solely to American art within a four-hundred-mile radius of Chicago. Daniel J. Terra located a site in Evanston to house and display his own extensive private collection, and, after major renovation, the Terra Museum of American Art opened in the spring of 1980. Five years later, Terra commissioned the renovation of three North Michigan Avenue properties into a unified museum, and in 1987 the museum began operation in the heart of Chicago's elegant shopping district, with over 60,000 square feet of newly designed galleries, a bookstore, education facilities, and administrative offices. Taking the success of the Chicago institution to France, Terra and his wife Judith Terra founded the Museum of American Art in Giverny, France, in 1992.

The Chicago collection comprises extensive representations of American impressionist work, including works by John Singer Sargent, Maurice Pendergast, William Sydney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, Winslow Homer, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, among others. The Terra also has presented traveling exhibitions of rarely seen work by African American artists. In 2003 the Terra Foundation board voted to close the museum the following year, to loan parts of the collection to the Art Institute, and to refocus the foundation's efforts on research and education programs.

Neff, Terry A., ed. A Proud Heritage: Two Centuries of American Art; Selections from the Collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago. 1987.