Land, Place, Identity: Inaugural Symposium on American Art

Ross Moffett (1888-1971), Clamdiggers Fleet, n.d., 30 x 40 inches, PAAM Collection

Friday November 8 – Monday November 11, 2024

PAAM is pleased to announce a fully-funded opportunity for graduate and recent graduate students, artists, art historians, curators, and other independent scholars to spend a weekend in Provincetown presenting research and projects on American art.

The symposium seeks to explore themes of land, place, time, identity, community, power, and survival, as well as aesthetics and politics of indigeneity and settlement; examining how these categories span time, shift, and overlap to engulf artists in a geographic area, genre, or cultural narrative. 

For a century, Provincetown has been celebrated as “the oldest continuous art colony in America,” (drawing artists to work here since 1899), but it is also lacking in conversation and preservation of indigenous art history–both the Nauset and Wampanoag artistry that continues to be practiced by indigenous artists on Cape Cod and the Islands, as well as broader  traditional and contemporary indigenous artistic practices.

The PAAM symposium seeks to address this lack through incubating conversations pertaining to expansive categories within American art and art history, and against the backdrop of the ongoing settlement and westernization of North America. Germinating these conversations in the very place that the United States began, Provincetown, adds a distinct foundational element to our topic of place, identity, and how our collective culture is created.

A keynote speaker will provide the foundation of the weekend, and presenters will share their work and receive feedback from one another. The keynote, presentations, and some discussions will also be open to members of the Provincetown and broader Cape community, while more intimate gatherings will be planned for symposium participants to deepen their conversation and build connections with one another.

Arts Foundation of Cape Cod Logo

Thank you to The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod for their support of this program.


The symposium will provide all presenters with travel (including airfare), lodging, meals, and stipends to allow each to enjoy Provincetown. 


PAAM is committed to working with all prospective symposium participants to ensure the most accessible application process and symposium experience possible. Please email or call Curator of Museum Education Ruby T ( / 508.487.1750) in any stage of the process to share your specific access needs.

At baseline, we are an ADA-compliant museum with wheelchair access in all areas of the building, and masking is optional. For those who are invited to present, you are welcome and encouraged to reach out with access needs for your time at PAAM and in Provincetown, and we will be sure to respond with confirmation of access and/ or initiate a confidential conversation with you to ensure your needs are met.


Papers and projects that engage with the following topics, issues, and research methods are especially encouraged: 

  • Artistic and scholarly relationships to land, place, time, identity, community, power, survival, indigeneity and settlement, through historical and contemporary forms
  • Nauset and Wampanoag art forms
  • Provincetown and other queer/ artist enclaves as places of refuge and survival
  • The politics of representation and relationship to place within 19th and 20th century landscape painting and portraiture
  • Post-colonial and de-colonial methodologies
  • Intersections of historical and contemporary movement-building and artmaking
  • Historical functions and trajectories of traditional artforms


Application Deadline: June 30, 2024 | Notification: August 15, 2024

Proposals for presentations of individual papers & projects (between 20-30 minutes) should be no more than 250 words in length and may be sent by email, with a current CV, and short bio to (subject heading: proposal). In addition to detailing your topic, please expand on what form this presentation will take, and what kinds of tech/ media support you will need (i.e. projector, speakers, etc.).