Collections-Related Grants

Installation view: Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, September 28, 2018–April 14, 2019.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation provides a variety of grants related to our art collections for individuals and nonprofits. Through these programs, we seek to heighten public interest and awareness, fuel innovative scholarship, and promote dynamic partnerships in the fields of art and art history. Read more below about our Collections-Related Grants for Nonprofits and our Fellowships and Awards for Individuals in the Arts of the Spanish Americas

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Collections-Related Grants for Nonprofits 

We accept applications during three yearly grant cycles for bold proposals that align with our collections areas and artists. 501(c)(3) organizations, fiscally sponsored organizations, and university departments are welcome to apply. 

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations whose innovative projects and original ideas will provide promising insights into the fields of art which we collect: Art of the Spanish AmericasDigital & Media ArtJapanese Bamboo, and Post-War Painting & Sculpture. We also welcome requests pertaining to the arts and culture of the American Southwest. 

Although we fund projects from across the United States, we are particularly interested in receiving proposals from our target regions. In the U.S., this includes New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, with particular emphasis on rural and nonmetro institutions and organizations from within those states. We are currently not funding projects outside the United States, so please connect with our grants team in advance of submitting an international proposal. 

We value long-term relationships with grantees and encourage you to connect with us at any stage of the application process. The Foundation prefers 12 months’ notice before the start of a project. For more information on projects we have supported in the past, view our previous recipients. Questions about our grant opportunities should be sent to

Before submitting your application, please read our Criteria for Collections-Related Nonprofit Grants page. If your organization has not previously worked with the Thoma Foundation, we also encourage you to reach out to our grants team in advance of applying to discuss your particular project.

The projects we support through our Collections-Related Grants for Nonprofits fall within one or more of the following categories:



As of Spring 2023, we are excited to learn about exhibitions that are slated to open in Spring 2024 through 2026. We welcome the opportunity to become an early funder of landmark exhibitions that relate to our collections, and which significantly raise the public profile of those genres while also advancing art historical scholarship. Historically, we have cultivated strong relationships with medium-size museums across the country that reach a diverse regional audience and value innovative curation. Exhibition funding can include development, scholarship, construction, outreach, traveling costs, admissions subsidies, and more.

The Thoma Foundation also loans pieces from its collections in support of exhibitions. The loan application process is separate from our grant platform; please see our collections site and read the FAQ page to learn more about our artwork loans.

As a matter of Foundation policy, we do not fund the shipping of art for exhibitions, including for Thoma Collection loan objects. Please be aware of this when submitting a draft budget request for an exhibition grant. 



To encourage scholarly debate and dialogue, we fund academic conferences and workshops that will significantly advance the fields of art scholarship related to our collections. We urge applicants to familiarize themselves with industry standards for honoraria and per diems in advance of creating a convening budget.



Research, travel, manuscript development, hiring research assistants, equipment, etc. to support original scholarship related to our collection areas. Academic projects should culminate in a clear final deliverable such as a book manuscript or peer-reviewed article. For potential partners working in university settings, a letter stating our policy on funding indirect costs is available on our Grantee Resources page.


Exhibition Catalog Support

In conjunction with our exhibition support, we are pleased to support development, research, and publication costs associated with museum catalogs relating to artists in our collection. 

As of January 2022, our previous Publication Grant program is currently on hold while we reevaluate our strategic priorities. 


Individual Fellowships and Awards

In addition to our nonprofit grants, the Foundation runs several fellowship programs for individuals related to our Art of the Spanish Americas collections. This includes two annual fellowship programs geared towards postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. candidates: the Marilynn Thoma Fellowship in Art of the Spanish Americas and the Thoma Foundation Research and Travel Awards in Art of the Spanish Americas. Biannually, we offer the Exploratory Travel Award to early career Ph.D. students. Read more by clicking below. Please note: As of 2023, our program is being updated with the new program and guidelines being posted shortly. 

Art of the Spanish Americas: Individual Awards

Previous Award Recipients