How can I visit the Foundation’s collection?

The Foundation has two exhibition spaces dedicated to sharing artworks from the collection: Art Vault  in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Orange Door in Chicago, Illinois. Art Vault is open most days during business hour and is free and open to the public. Orange Door is a private exhibition venue and is open by appointment only; private tours are available pending scheduling and availability. We welcome visits from school and educational groups at both of our venues, and we ask that you please contact us in advance to arrange a tour.

Additionally, the Foundation’s collection is lent to exhibition venues around the United States and the world, much like a lending library of art. For a complete list of venues exhibiting art from our collection, please visit Our Collections on Tour.

How does the Foundation decide which artworks to collect?

The Foundation has an active acquisitions program to grow our distinct collection areas. We focus on purchasing artworks by mid-career and established artists whose work has shifted the fabric of their field and contributed to major moments across the history of art, culture, and human innovation. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited artist submissions.

Can I borrow artwork from the Foundation?

The Foundation accepts loan requests from organizations for exhibitions, long-term loans in a permanent exhibition, and educational loans that provide promising new insights into the fields of art in which we collect. We encourage exhibitions and research that coincide with ground-shifting concepts and will make every effort to accommodate loan requests. As a standard practice, the Foundation does not loan objects to individuals or to galleries or museums unable to meet standard American Association of Museums guidelines.

All artwork loan requests must meet the following criteria:

  • advance the Foundation’s mission to challenge and shift perceptions, spark creativity, and connect people across cultures;
  • share innovative new research and approaches in one of our art collection areas;
  • establish effective presentation, messaging, and communications around the project (exhibitions with a companion publication are encouraged); and
  • demonstrate professional standards and planning by making your request a minimum of six months in advance, meeting facility standards set forth by the American Association of Museums, and having a proposed time on view exceeding ninety days.

To submit an official request, please do so via the Artwork Loans Request form.

What are the costs involved with borrowing an artwork from the Foundation?

There is no rental fee to borrow artworks from the Foundation. We follow standard industry practice that borrowers pay for outgoing and return shipping and packing.

How do I apply for a grant?

Please refer to our main Grants page and to our Apply Now page to learn more about the process of applying for a grant. 

Questions about our grant opportunities should be sent to grants@thomafoundation.org.

What does the Foundation fund? What does the Foundation not fund?

Our Collections-Related Grants for Nonprofits support nonprofit organizations whose innovative projects and original ideas will advance scholarship in the fields of art in which we collect. We give strong preference to projects that highlight one or more artists from our collections. Additionally, we prefer to fund projects organized by small and midsize institutions, and those from organizations in our areas of geographic interest including New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Read more about our criteria for these grants here:

Criteria for Collections-Related Nonprofit Grants

 The Foundation does not fund or support general operational costs, debt reduction, political campaigns, legislative lobbying, art supplies, individuals’ art projects, projects that promote or proselytize any religion, or organizations that discriminate on any basis. 

Does the Foundation provide grants to individuals?

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals from individuals. Aside from our Fellowships and Awards programs, the Foundation only provides grants to nonprofit organizations.

What is your policy on reimbursing overhead?

We have reimbursed overhead of up to 20% of direct project costs in the past, but because different organizations have different needs, we do not consider this a strict rule. When working with university or higher education partners, we prefer NOT to fund indirect administration or overhead costs. Please see our Grantee Resources page if your organization requires a signed letter articulating this policy. Contact our grants team at grants@thomafoundation.org if you have a specific question. 

Can my organization both borrow artwork and receive a grant for the same project?

The Foundation is able to support innovative exhibitions with both an artwork loan and a grant. Preference is given to projects featuring a companion publication and/or requesting multiple artwork loans. We encourage prospective applicants to reach out to us via email prior to submitting a Letter of Inquiry or an Artwork Loan Request.

Can I reproduce an image for a book, essay, or academic paper?

The Foundation is pleased to make digital images of artworks from our collection available to scholars and educators. We will only consider requests to use or reproduce images for scholarly and educational purposes. Requests for images will be considered on a case-by-case basis; we regret that sometimes we may not be able to accommodate a request. Requests for commercial use such as advertising will not be approved on any grounds. 

Before submitting a request, scholars should familiarize themselves with the Foundation’s terms and conditions of use. Requests for images should be submitted via the Image and Research Request Form on our website. Upon making a request, please allow a minimum of two weeks for processing.

How can I stay up-to-date with Thoma Foundation news?

The best way to stay up-to-date with Foundation news is to sign up for our monthly e-mail newsletter by entering your name and email address here or at the bottom of this page. We will deliver news on the foundation’s activities to your inbox.

We also post news on our website and share information across our social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Vimeo.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact info@thomafoundation.org.