Arts Patronage in Modern America: An International Conference

arts patronage logo

The founding of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965 was a celebrated occasion for many artists and cultural patrons in the United States, but it failed to put to rest the decades old public debate over whether or not art and culture ought to be supported by the state or the marketplace. This conference is accordingly dedicated to evaluating both public and private arts funding in modern America, including:

  • philanthropy and government cultural cooperation and conflict
  • cultural funding, policy, and exchange at home and abroad
  • the creation, implementation, and impact of cultural policymaking at the state and local levels
  • how artists and academics have experienced cultural policy and patronage
  • cultural policy and protest or lack thereof
  • philanthropy and philanthropic funding in the cultural sphere
  • federal cultural programmes and agencies
  • national and transnational public-private arts partnerships and programmes


For further information, including a draft programme and registration options, please see:
B&B rooms may also be available: contact


The two plenary lectures are free and open to the public: see below for separate registration details.

John R. Blakinger, Terra Visiting Professor of American Art, University of Oxford
Plenary lecture: "To Remain Silent Is To Remain Complicit": Arts Funding in the Trump Era
Wed, 26 June 2019
15:00 – 16:30 BST

Mary Anne Goley, Founding Director of the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board
Plenary lecture: Playing by the Rules, How I Directed the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board, 1975 thru 2006
Thu, 27 June 2019
15:00 – 16:30 BST


Any questions may be addressed to the conference co-organisers: Karen Patricia Heath ( and Amanda Niedfeldt (


This conference has kindly been supported by the U.S. Embassy, the British Association for American Studies, the Terra Foundation for American Art, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the Royal Historical Society, and the Rothermere American Institute.

arts patronage supporters logos