Spreading American Art Beyond Its Borders

Elizabeth Glassman likes to call the Terra Foundation for American Art, which she heads, a “museum without walls,” but it wasn’t supposed to be that way.


Before its founders, Daniel J. Terra, died in 1996, he opened not one but three museums to house his collection of 700 works of American art from the late 18th century to 1945. A son of Italian immigrants who made a fortune selling inks and chemicals, Mr. Terra believed in the transformative power of art in general and of the narrative told by historical American art in particular. He wanted to spread that word, nationally and internationally.



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