Since 1982, the Henry Luce Foundation’s American Art Program has supported wide-ranging collection projects and exhibitions at art museums in all 50 states. In commemoration of the program’s 40th anniversary, the foundation has organized a year-long series of free virtual conversations moderated by field leaders and Luce grantees, past and present. The New-York Historical Society is honored to present these Conversations on American Art and Museums. With an eye toward the future, participants will explore the role of the visual arts in an open and equitable society and the capacity of art museums to challenge accepted histories, elevate under-represented voices, and host the critical conversations in which we need to engage.

This free, virtual series premieres on Friday, September 9, at 1pm (ET) with Museums in the 21st Century: Institutions Transformed, focusing on the ways in which museums of Native American art and culture are leading the reinvention of art museum missions and practices in the 21st century.

  • Keynote Moderator: Rick West
    W. Richard West, Jr. (Cheyenne) was a Native rights lawyer before becoming a transformative leader in the museum field. West is the Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, and President and CEO Emeritus, and Ambassador, Native Communities, of the Autry Museum of the American West. He is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma and a member of the Society of Southern Cheyenne Peace Chiefs. West has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Alliance of Museums.
  • Kevin Gover (Pawnee)
    Undersecretary for Museums and Culture, Smithsonian Institution
  • Amy Scott
    Executive Vice President of Research and Interpretation and the Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross Curator of Visual Arts, Autry Museum

Registration is required to receive a link. To RSVP for this free discussion, visit