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What is Art in Embassies?
AIE fosters U.S. relations within local communities world-wide – an integral aspect of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s commitment to smART power. In the last decade, more than 100 artists have traveled to countries participating in AIE’s exchange programs and collaborated with local artists to produce works now on display in embassies and consulates. Going forward, AIE will continue to engage, educate, and inspire global audiences, showing how art can transcend national borders and build connections among peoples.
When did AIE begin?
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) initiated temporary exhibitions of contemporary art for U.S. ambassadors’ residences in 1953. Ten years later President John F. Kennedy established ART in Embassies within the U.S. Department of State.
How does AIE fulfill the mission of the U.S. Department of State?
AIE advances cultural diplomacy through the presentation of works by outstanding American and international artists to audiences around the world. Art permanently placed in our diplomatic and consular missions furthers cultural exchange, highlights American and international artists, and creates bridges with the world’s cultures by demonstrating American appreciation for local aesthetics and traditions.
Where is the art exhibited?
The art is installed in the public rooms of U.S. embassy residences worldwide, as well as new chanceries, consulates, and annexes.
Who selects the works of art?
AIE curators are art historians who have extensive knowledge and experience of contemporary U.S. and international art. They are responsible for researching and selecting art for all exhibitions and collections. Using their academic backgrounds and widespread contacts with art professionals around the world, our curators provide in-depth expertise on art and artists from the U.S. and host countries.
What is a temporary exhibition?
Temporary exhibitions include works on loan from artists, museums, dealers, corporate collections, private collectors and other partners. The length of a loan is approximately three years. The Department of State also owns a small collection of works that are regularly incorporated into temporary exhibitions.
What is a permanent exhibition?
AIE permanent collections include art acquired for U.S. embassies, consulates, and annexes built in recent years. Both American and local artists are always included. Every collection serves as a bridge with the host country's arts and celebrates the ties between American and local visual cultures. Collections can include site-specific and commissioned works.
How many artists are featured in Art in Embassies exhibitions each year?
More than 2,000 artists participate every year. AIE engages hundreds of new partners each year for its exhibitions and collections.
Are lenders compensated in any way?
Artists and lenders receive international exposure through events hosted by the embassy that are attended by prominent political, business, and academic leaders as well as members of the local arts community. AIE acknowledges its partners through bi and tri-lingual exhibition labels, web publications produced by our office, and inclusion on our web site. Many U.S. embassies feature exhibitions on their official websites, extending accessibility to thousands of host country, international, and U.S. citizens annually.
How do I become a lender?
To submit images for consideration, click on the 'Submitting Art' link at the bottom of the screen and register. We will contact you.
How can I highlight my association with Art in Embassies on my resume or in the press?
The exhibitions are created, managed, insured and shipped by the Office of Art in Embassies under the U.S. Department of State. Any reference to your participation in a temporary exhibition or permanent collection should cite the Office of Art in Embassies.

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