The Centre for American Art

The Centre for American Art at The Courtauld was established in September 2016 with the help of a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Centre exists to support and develop research in the field of American art of all periods, from the earliest moment to the present day, and in its international, transnational and global contexts. The Centre maintains a vibrant programme of lectures and conferences that feature leading scholars of American art from around the globe. In addition, we are pleased to offer residential six-month postdoctoral fellowships for early career researchers.

An introduction to The Centre of American Art

The Centre for American Art organises major international conferences, hosts regular seminar series of visiting speakers, welcomes Visiting Professors, supports PhD students’ research-related travel to the US, and develops and runs major research projects in the field. It provides an intellectual home and focus for The Courtauld’s PhD students, MA students, and postdoctoral fellows in American art. The Centre seeks to develop relationships with European and UK partners and acts as a focus to extend existing international collaborations with historians of American art in North America and Europe. 

The Centre supports MA teaching in American subjects, including “New York-London-Paris, 1880-1940” (Professor Corbett), “The Sixties: Eccentric, Erotic, Psychotic” (Dr Applin), “Circum-Atlantic Visual Culture, c1770-1830” (Dr Chadwick) and “Drop Dead New York: Art, Film and Activism Downtown, 1971-1992” (Dr Tom Day). 

The Centre for American Art – Forthcoming Events

Centre for American Art, Research

Gatecrashers and the Promise of American Art

5:00pm, 18 Oct 2021 | Free, booking essential

Nearly one hundred years ago, artists without formal training “crashed the gates” of the elite art world, as their paintings of American life and fantastical scenes derived from their imaginations began appearing in major museums. This talk draws upo...

Centre for American Art, Research

Forgetting and Remembering the Sea with Winslow Homer

5:00pm, 25 Oct 2021 | Free, booking essential

This lecture interrogates Homer’s marines anew by focusing on the unique epistemology and materiality of the ocean. The late photographer and theorist Allan Sekula has called the oceans a “forgotten space.” Indeed, art historians tend to look out to ...

Centre for American Art, Research

Harold Rosenberg and “The American Action Painters”

5:00pm, 22 Nov 2021 | Free, booking essential

Harold Rosenberg (1906-1978) is still primarily known by a single essay, “The American Action Painters,” which was published in ARTnews in 1952.  When the piece appeared in the December issue, the response was phenomenal.  Not only did it galvanize a...

Centre for American Art, Research

Workshop :“How close can I get to someone? Will we become each other”: Epistolary Subjects, Objects, and Methods in Feminist Art, Art Writing, and Art History

10:00am, 2 Dec 2021 | Free, very limited space, booking essential

In this participatory workshop involving writing experiments and collective discussions, we will revisit, handle again, the letters we have discovered in the archives of the artists and subjects we study, considering our roles as interlocutors across...

Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

The postgraduate fellowship hosted by the Centre for American Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art is designed to facilitate original, rigorous, and exciting research that investigates art from the United States or its role in an international context from the colonial period up to 1980. It offers a postdoctoral scholar the opportunity to pursue his or her own work while in residence for six months and to actively contribute to the academic programming of the Centre for American Art. The Terra Foundation fellow will be able to consult local libraries and archives, including The Courtauld library, and benefit from access to the events of The Courtauld Research Forum. This fellowship is funded with the help of a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Applications are now closed for the 2021-22 academic year. We hope to advertise for the 2022-23 academic year in early October, so please bookmark this page.

MA Curating class at Somerset House i MA Curating class at Somerset House

Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship - (US Archives in UK Collections Project)

In addition to the Centre’s Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, we are this year advertising a 6-month Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on the Centre’s Archives project and to contribute to the final symposium for the project, which will be held at The Courtauld on 6-7 May 2022. Further details can be found here:

American Art Faculty

Postdoctoral Fellows in American Art

PhD Students