National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New Grants

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The Morgan Library & Museum, the University of Chicago and the new Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M., are among 239 beneficiaries of new grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities that were announced on Tuesday.

The grants, which total $28.4 million and are the second round awarded this year, will support projects at museums, libraries, universities and historic sites in 45 states, as well as in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. They will enable the creation of a documentary about the Colfax Massacre — in which dozens of former slaves were killed in a Louisiana town during Reconstruction — by City Lore, a nonprofit New York art gallery; the development of Archaeorover, an autonomous robot that uses ground-penetrating radar to search for buried sites and artifacts, by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania; and research for a biography of the neuroscientist and author Oliver Sacks by Laura J. Snyder, a New York-based writer and researcher.

Adam Wolfson, the endowment’s acting chairman, said in a statement that the projects, which include educational programming for high school and college students and multi-institutional research initiatives, “demonstrate the resilience and breadth of our nation’s humanities institutions and practitioners.”

In New York, 35 projects at the state’s cultural organizations will receive $3.6 million in grants. Funding will support the creation of a new exhibition on the portraiture of the Northern Renaissance artist Hans Holbein the Younger at the Morgan Library & Museum, set to open next Spring; an exhibition at the Queens Museum that will reinterpret its “Panorama of the City of New York” from the World’s Fair in context of its ties to city planning, including how urban expansion reinforced racism and classism, upon the panorama’s 60th anniversary in 2024; and a reinterpretation of the American art galleries at the Brooklyn Museum to focus on underrepresented voices. Those galleries are expected to reopen before 2025.

Funding will also support the storage of 117 Chinese opera costumes and 330 traditional Chinese garments called qipaos that were damaged in a January 2020 fire at the Museum of Chinese in America, as well as the preservation of 70,000 photographs, political cartoons and other materials documenting the 123-year history of the Jewish publication The Forward.

Elsewhere, the grants will assist with the reinterpretation of the colonial Old North Church in Boston and its congregation’s ties to slavery from the American Revolution to the Civil War, support the creation of a digital catalog of the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, and enable publication of a comprehensive, freely available print and online edition of all surviving Greek- and Latin-inscribed legislation from classical Rome by the University of Chicago.

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